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Lawbreakers dev: PC/console cross-platform play is “dumb”

Bleszinski says developing for keyboard/mouse and console leads to “balance issues.”

 Kyle Orland

After years of online gaming being strictly segregated by platform, recent months have seen a resurgence in the idea of playing with friends and rivals on different hardware. That includes some hesitant attempts by game makers to cross the PC/console barrier with cross-play between players using a mouse/keyboard and those using handheld controllers, even in first-person shooters.

 

 At least one major developer is not a fan of the emerging trend, though. "We made the decision not to do cross-play, and there are a lot of people with this pipe dream of PC and console cross-play," Lawbreakers lead developer Cliff Bleszinski told PCGamesN while announcing a PS4 port of what was formerly a PC exclusive. "It's like, 'No, be the best console game you can be, or be the best PC game you can be.' Because then you get PC players getting angry that there's aim assist on console, or with balance issues."
The announcement follows on a Eurogamer interview Bleszinski gave a year ago, in which he commented on a then-theoretical console version. "The thing about the controller is it's going to be tricky," he said at the time. "We've played around with the controller a little bit and, thing is, if we get around to doing console ports, I don't want to do cross-play. Some people think that's the holy grail for a lot of games, and I'm like, 'no.' If you have somebody with a keyboard and mouse versus somebody with a controller, I'm sorry, but the person with the keyboard and mouse is going to win nine times out of 10."
As if to drive the point home, Bleszinski gave a blunt response to a Twitter user asking about the prospect of cross-platform play. "No. Cross play is dumb, buddy," he tweeted.

 Bleszinski rose to prominence through work on Microsoft's Gears of War series, and that franchise has taken a decidedly different angle on the cross-platform debate. After allowing controller-based Xbox One players to play competitively against keyboard-and-mouse-based PC players in Gears of War 4 as a public test, Microsoft found "closely matched performance between users on both platforms." Those results led Microsoft to permanently introduce competitive cross-platform play in the game's "Social Quickplay" mode.

 Microsoft recently announced it would soon be opening up keyboard (and eventual mouse) support for all Xbox One developers. This could dampen some of the complaints about unfair competitive environments between platforms and control formats. Even Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan, who recently spoke out against the use of keyboard-and-mouse adapters for consoles, said that consoles "easily support[ing] mouse and keyboard for all players" would help solve the problem.
Lawbreakers dev: PC/console cross-platform play is “dumb” Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 10:37 PM Rating: 5

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