One of the most buzzed-about topics in games in recent years has been and continues to be cross-play. Now, one prominent developer has spoken up to talk about the benefits of allowing players on competing systems to play together. Stew Chisam, the CEO of Smite and Paladins developer Hi-Rez, outlined some of the benefits of cross-play in a post on Twitter.
For Paladins, which supports cross-play between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, Chisam said overall match quality is improved thanks to cross-play. Wait-times for matches is down 30 percent, while the quality of matches is better because the level spread is down 40 percent. In all, Hi-Rez is reportedly seeing an 80 percent reduction in what it calls “bad” matches.
Anyone who has played a ranked multiplayer game knows how frustrating it can be when you’re matched with players who have a much higher skill level, so it’s good to see the statistics seemingly indicate that cross-play helps improve things. Whether or not other games see these results remains to be seen.
Developer Respawn believed that it was “putting a lot on the line” with the surprise launch of Apex Legends, but it looks like the decision was the right one: just three days after launch, the game has reached 10 million players. Fortnite, in comparison, took two weeks to hit the same milestone.
“We knew it would be risky to take the franchise in this direction, to go free to play, and do a surprise launch,” Respawn CEO Vince Zampella wrote in a blog post. “But we fell in love with Apex Legends and wanted, needed, other people to play it, too.” In addition to the overall player count, the developer also says that Apex has already reached 1 million concurrent players.
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Other games news: While VR is still a new medium, its rules yet to be solidified, there’s an awful lot of received wisdom in developer talks and on design forums that boils down to this: keep it small. Overscoping is a common pitfall even in regular PC game development, and it becomes a far more pertinent issue in VR, where performance is paramount.
With that headset on, a low frame rate isn’t just an annoyance – it’s a cause of severe nausea, effectively damning any game under 90fps to the unplayable pile. That’s one of the reasons so many VR games are confined to single rooms or tight arenas. Stuffing your world with enemies and particle effects is asking for trouble, and that’s exactly what HELM Systems, developer of The SoulKeeper VR, has been asking for.