With the newest wave of sports video games released over this past summer, a notable new feature was added to both NBA 2k24 and Madden NFL 24. Both of these sport video game juggernauts introduced crossplay to their newest installments, adding a feature that players have been asking for since Fortnite made the idea much more common among popular games.
Allowing crossplay enables players to join online games with each other, regardless of what console they are playing on. The question of why this took so long to become the new normal falls on PlayStation and Xbox being hesitant to allow gamers to play online with each other when using consoles that are not their own. Fortnite paved the way for this idea, and since then the first sports game to introduce crossplay was MLB The Show 22. This was also the first time the game was playable on Xbox.
Since the release of MLB The Show 22, fans of the other sports gaming franchises have been clamoring for EA Sports and 2K Sports to introduce crossplay in their own sports games. 2024 was the first time these games added the feature, and this sets the tone for the rest of the gaming world to follow suit.
Simply put, introducing crossplay to more and more games is great for the gaming industry as a whole. Gone are the days of friend groups being divided over which next generation console to buy, as now it has become much more common for every console to be allowed to play with each other online.
For far too long, it appeared that these console and game developers were too focused on the financial benefits of console exclusives which made them shy away from their biggest sell to consumers, entertainment. Allowing gamers to enjoy online games with their friends even while being on different platforms creates a tighter knit community that has started to focus more on enjoying the content developers push out rather than fighting over which console is best.
Games like NBA 2K24 and Madden NFL 24 are just the beginning of crossplay becoming more common, but it is great for gaming to see these developers lean into the idea of building community in order to create an enjoyable experience for all their consumers.