Sony charged publishers a royalty on cross-play games if it made more money on other platforms

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As the court case between Apple and Epic Games rages on, more and more documents revealing the inner workings of these companies are being released. Today, Epic disclosed emails with Sony during their negotiations to enable cross-play in Fortnite back in 2018. For those who don't remember, Sony was the one holdout to freely enable cross-play between the major consoles, PC and mobile platforms, citing security concerns and assertions that these games were best on Playstation. Finally, in September of 2018, they enabled cross-play on Fortnite, calling the program an "open beta," before fully opening it up over a year later, in October of 2019.

Now, thanks to court documents compiled by The Verge, we know exactly how set against cross-play Sony was. In an email exchange between Joe Kreiner, Epic’s vice president of business development, and Gio Corsi, Sony’s senior director of developer relations, we can see Epic's offer to Sony for enabling cross-play. Epic would offer data that Sony had requested, plus other marketing data, offer exclusive skins to Playstation Plus subscribers, would brand their E3 presence with Sony, and offers to go out of their way to let Sony "look like heroes" when it comes to the cross-play announcement. They also mention that Sony's companywide license for Unreal Engine 4 would be expiring in about a year from then, and offer to extend it as that license has "some of the best terms we've ever offered for UE4." There's even an offer to spitball further ideas, and suggest that perhaps Epic could commit to a game at the launch of the next iteration of PSVR. Sony didn't agree, shooting back that "many companies are exploring this idea and not a single one can explain how cross-console play improves the PlayStation business."

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Sony did eventually agree though, after establishing a revenue sharing system that would see it compensated if there are more players using PSN to access a game than there are paying for in-game purchases through Playstation. Essentially, since Sony takes a 30% cut on all in-game purchases made through PSN, it isn't worth it to them allow PSN's infrastructure to support a game when the paying players are making their purchases through other platforms, so Sony would make the game publishers pay the difference. The graphic below lays out the exact detail of its revenue sharing:

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While it's unclear if Sony is still enforcing this policy, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney spoke on the matter and made no mention that the policy had ended. He also stated that Sony was the only platform holder with this stipulation and that Epic had to agree to these terms to get cross-play enabled on Fortnite.

:arrow: Source (courtesy of The Verge)
 

LightBeam

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What the actual fuck

I really didn't thought Epic could get any worse but damn, they totally did

I mean, yeah Sony sucks for that, but Epic just couldn't say « well, fuck we can't have cross-play on Playstation, blame Sony on that one », they had to enforce that so hard, that's actually unbelievable

Couldn't say better than the post above mine.
The only thing that pushes Epic to sue Apple is to get a way to launch a store on iOS. They tried to have their own launcher on Android but it failed miserably and then tried to launch the game on the Playstore while also not using the Google Payment systems (breaking ToS). But since iOS is getting them a shit ton of money, they want to do just like they did with EGS on PC and have their own shitty store on a system they just don't want to to ignore.

Idk, I feel like people are picking Apple products for the whole package. I'm absolutely not an Apple fan, but Epic claiming they do that for developers and consumers pisses me off. You already can't say without being dishonnest that EGS on PC is « good for consumers », doesn't take a degree to understand that they just want to do the same on a platform they wan't to have a better grip on. If they could do release a store to have another price cut on consoles, like EGS available on Nintendo consoles, Sony and Microsoft, they would do it without a doubt, they wouldn't care about anything else because Fortnite is working for now and they just want every buck possible from those vbucks you like so much
 
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smf

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so it's not toxic to expect them not to charge a company based on the actions of players (not the company but the player) taken outside of playstation networks when they also take a large percentage cut like apple does

I was under the impression that ps4 fortnite still went through sony psn servers and cross play is implemented with a link between amazon and sony. But the financial transactions don't go through psn. The cut seems quite low from the calculation that was leaked. If you want sony to make enough money to run the company just based on console sales then they'd have to increase their costs & then people would not buy consoles.

Apple on the other hand make a fortune out of each phone sale & they don't offer anything for the cut of the app.

So I find the argument they are at all similar is a little disingenuous.

Sony own a 1.4% stake in Epic, so they will want them to make money.
 
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Benja81

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"Many companies are exploring this idea and not a single one can explain how cross-console play improves the PlayStation business."
He is right but omgod in heaven forbid if the customer gets a better experience that you can't make more throwaway money on. Dick.balls
 

wormdood

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If you want sony to make enough money to run the company just based on console sales then they'd have to increase their costs & then people would not buy consoles.
I'm not suggesting a free ecosystem but a lower rate for their share... I was simply saying that they can still thrive even at a lower asking price after all how many hardware revisions did each playstation generation go through how many collector's or limited edition variants along the way

the profit made by company A through and taxed by company B should be irrelevant to company C ... but with sony as company C somehow company C deserves cash ??? ... HOW? It's totally absurd is my point

Apple on the other hand make a fortune out of each phone sale & they don't offer anything for the cut of the app.
You make it sound like my ps5 was somehow more free than an apple phone and before you say it's cheaper remember sony expects me to buy the same exact console multiple times in different color shells. News flash apple and sony are equally grotesque
Sony own a 1.4% stake in Epic, so they will want them to make money.
it may be true that Sony owns stake but that alone is not enough for sony, nor is the money they make on fortnite sales via the playstation store, they still need to bleed the company's that produce the games that sony's player base flock to (thusly bringing sony money) dry. Going as far as to charge them for giving the players freedom to play/buy on one console and continue on another console. That's not a sign that they want them to succeed that's a sign that they are really really greedy
 

smf

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You make it sound like my ps5 was somehow more free than an apple phone and before you say it's cheaper remember sony expects me to buy the same exact console multiple times in different color shells.

Who said anything about free? You seem to seriously misunderstand console economics. PS5 has so far made a loss.

Apple release new phones every year, Sony make a new console ever 5-10 years.

Sony only make money if most of the players are on PlayStation, but most of the money is taken directly by Epic.

“If somebody were primarily playing on PlayStation, but paying on iPhone then this might trigger compensation.”
 
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wormdood

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You seem to seriously misunderstand console economics. PS5 has so far made a loss.

Apple release new phones every year, Sony make a new console ever 5-10 years.
now you have me repeating myself and there's no way for me to say it more clearly yes Apple produces phone generations more often than Sony produces console generations but Sony sells many limited and exclusive decal consoles even if it's the same console revision ... At least Apple upgrades the technology when they try to sell you something new Sony upgrades the color of the plastic ... And I would love to see how you came to the conclusion that Sony has lost money by selling more consoles than any other company has in their first year I've said consoles lifespan

Side note Apple only has more phone generations because they cheat their consumers into buying a new phone by dumbing down their current phone they've been caught doing it ... We're not for them abusing their own customers property while lying to them about it then very likely we'd only be on the 5th revision of iPhone by now but they can afford to pump them out every year because they can guarantee you'll buy them by dumbing down your current setup you see... the sale of Apple phones itself is a scam in the first place and to compare any other company's hardware sales to apples is to compare a regular man's strength to that of a man on steroids apple is cheating
 
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smf

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the sale of Apple phones itself is a scam in the first place and to compare any other company's hardware sales to apples is to compare a regular man's strength to that of a man on steroids apple is cheating

I'm not sure what you're on about, but my initial response was to someone comparing sony to apple.

Even though the PS4 lasted 7 years. Sony made a profit because they didn't let everyone stiff them out of license fees, like this thread suggests they should do.

now you have me repeating myself and there's no way for me to say it

It's not that you aren't clear, I disagree with you. You don't seem to be aware that it's valid for people to disagree with you.
 
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