Xbox boss offended by Sony’s reason for blocking cross-play

The head of the Xbox team, Phil Spencer, has expressed a measure of frustration or offense with how Sony reacted to questioning about their choice to block cross-play.

This all came up as Minecraft and Rocket League are set to work across the PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch platforms in cross-play. If I own those games on my Switch, for instance, I’ll be able to play with you on your Xbox One.

Sony’s Jim Ryan spoke with Eurogamer about their choice to stay out of that deal, and one of the lines of reasoning he offered was that they didn’t want to risk their customer’s safety by letting them play out of their walled garden, so to speak.

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Spencer spoke with the Giant Bomb crew about this during E3, as transcribed by Polygon. He clearly gives the impression that he’s at once baffled and upset by Sony’s position on this matter. Here’s what he said.

“The fact that somebody would kind of make an assertion that somehow we’re not keeping Minecraft players safe, I found — not only from a Microsoft perspective, but from a game industry perspective — like, I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue. Like, that doesn’t seem healthy for anyone…

…We take the safety of Xbox Live, of our players across all of our games — inside of Minecraft, obviously an incredibly important part of that — it’s incredibly important to our team… We would never put Minecraft in a place where we felt like […] we weren’t keeping our players safe.”

This all feels like a very odd thing to be going on between companies. Spencer insisted that the door is open for the PlayStation platform to get in on cross-play, but it’s up to them to walk through it.

 GIANT BOMB  POLYGON