Ghost of Tsushima’s crossplay function will launch with a ‘beta’ tag attached, prompting speculation that Sony is hoping to avoid another PSN-related fiasco

When Ghost of Tsushima launches on PC tomorrow, you won’t need a PlayStation Network account to play the game in singleplayer. But you will need one if you want to play Legends, the game’s online, crossplay-inclusive multiplayer mode. There is now a question as to whether you will need one permanently, however, as port developer Nixxes has revealed the mode will launch with a ‘beta’ label attached.

As reported by Eurogamer, when Nixxes shared the game’s system requirements last year, they simply stated that players “will be required to sign into [their] PlayStation Network account to access Legends mode.” However, an update to this post issued on May 14 states “At launch, cross play on Legends Mode will be in Beta”.

It adds that cross play between PS4, PS5, and PC “is supported when starting a game session by inviting friends on PlayStation Network”. So players can use the crossplay functionality, but it won’t be automatic.

It’s an interesting change considering the recent furore over Sony’s attempt to reinstate Helldivers 2’s PC/PSN integration, which it waived at launch as developer Arrowhead focussed on fortifying its servers to keep up with the game’s enormously popular launch. Sony’s abrupt decision to reinstate the requirement triggered a huge backlash that saw Helldivers 2 review-bombed on Steam, with the publisher ultimately walking the policy back a second time.

In the meantime, the debacle caught the attention of Tsushima’s developer Sucker Punch, who rushed to clarify that PSN accounts were only required for multiplayer, not singleplayer, though this didn’t stop Sony from delisting the game in over 200 countries where PSN is not available.

With all this swirling in the background like a cloud of Sakura blossom, the timing of the ‘beta’ tag addition is intriguing. It could just be that the crossplay functionality isn’t entirely stable and requires more work, although Nixxes would almost certainly have known this well before now. An alternate possibility is that Nixxes wants to reassure PC players that the current status of the crossplay mode is only temporary, perhaps with a mind to removing that PSN requirement in the future.

With Helldivers 2, PC gamers have clearly demonstrated they don’t want PSN integration, and by walking it back twice, Sony has shown that the game doesn’t need it to facilitate crossplay. The fact that Ghost of Tsushima is bringing PSN trophies and friends to PC while only requiring PSN integration for multiplayer further demonstrates that account linking is something that Sony wants rather than a feature the games need.

During the Helldivers 2 fiasco, Sony stated it is “still learning what is best for PC players”, and its variable inclusion of PlayStation features in its PC games is clear evidence of that. So it’s entirely possible there’s a shifting of policy going on behind the scenes. Either way, we’ll have a better idea of what the crossplay ‘beta’ label means when Ghost of Tsushima hits PC tomorrow.

PCGamer.com

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