Cross-play has been a huge topic of discussion in the past few weeks. This was triggered by Xbox and Nintendo partnering up for cross-play with Epic Games juggernaut Fortnite. With crossplay came another feature that many people are not talking about, but could be huge for the future of online gaming. That subject is cross progression. Cross progression in the most basic sense, is when you are able to transfer your gear, characters and game progress over to a different device or console. In Fortnite if you buy skins on your PC you will be able to use them on your Nintendo Switch or Xbox. Sounds pretty cool right? Not having to double dip for items you already own on another platform is convenient and much friendlier on a gamer’s wallet. However, cross progression could be a huge step forward for both developers and gamers alike. There are many ways in which cross progression could benefit gamers of all kinds.
It was announced recently that Warframe would be coming to the Nintendo Switch. Many fans of the free to play franchise were excited at the aspect of being able to take the game on the go wherever they went. Though many dread having to start over after grinding for hundreds of hours for the best Warframes in the game. Now imagine if Warframe had cross progression, this would mean those hundreds of hours could simply be loaded on your Nintendo Switch. This also means that you could be playing Warframe on your Xbox One, for example, then save and turn off your Xbox. Then simply grab your Switch turn it on and load your game without missing a beat while on the go. Then you can seamlessly switch between playing on your Switch and primary console without having to worry about grinding on the same missions on two platforms. This is fantastic for people who are looking to streamline their experience and don’t have the time to sit down and play for prolonged periods of time because of work and travel.
Cross progression could also play a huge part in the AAA multiplayer industry. I have a few close friends that are avid Destiny fans. They own a variety of platforms and frequently switch between PS4 and Xbox One. One common problem they had early on in the launch of Destiny 2 was a majority of them played on Xbox One, then a few weeks after release some of them would purchase it on PS4 to play with other friends. A major complaint was that they couldn’t import their max level Titans, Hunters or Warlocks because they were locked away on another platform. Which meant the process of starting all over, completing the game again, just to be able to participate with different friends in end game content. Sounds like a frustrating time that would be easily fixed with cross progression. Want to play with your friends on the opposite platform but the game doesn’t support crossplay? No worries, simply import your character and have fun! This might encourage some multiplatform owners to pick up a copy for each of their platforms. Developers could certainly use this as a marketing point while teasing their game, as this could have a huge appeal to the hardcore market.
A few developers have already begun to adopt this strategy, most recently Rocket League which has had crossplay since 2016. Developers Psyonix announced that cross-party support between Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch would be coming later this year. Epic Games has also been making a large push for cross play and cross progression with its runaway success of Fortnite. It will only be a matter of time before other companies begin to push this as a marketing point. This is hugely beneficial for gamers of any platform, as many hardcore gamers own more then one platform are looking for more options to play with more people without having to start all over again. There’s no doubt in my mind that cross progression will come more prominent in the upcoming years. Myself personally, I cannot wait for this crossplay and cross progression future. Tearing down these walls that have kept gamers separated for so long, and bringing families, friends and the ability to make new friends on other platforms is huge. All of this, on top of being able to take your game progress with you no matter what platform you are playing on, is certainly a reason to be excited.
Are you excited for the future of cross progression and crossplay? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check back for the latest gaming news and information.