Why Cross-Platform Gaming Looks Set To Be the Future of MMORPGs


The games industry is changing, and MMORPGs are changing with it. While the likes of Elden Ring and World of Warcraft happily continue to build out their unique experiences – ones that spellbind thousands of players daily – a growing number of online RPGs are looking to embrace the increasingly decentralized and cross platform reality of gaming in the 2020s.


Final Fantasy and Destiny 2 Setting the Blueprint

Two of the most noteworthy names in modern MMOs to double down on going cross platform are Square Enix’s iconic Final Fantasy XIV, and Destiny 2 by Bungie. Notably, in their earliest incarnations neither of these modern RPG classics featured true crossplay. True, they were available on multiple different platforms, but the ability for a PlayStation gamer to compete or quest in real time with a PC gamer was non-existent.

In truth there were numerous barriers preventing this kind of technology coming to the fore – from territorial licensing agreements, to very real concerns about fair play. After all, how does one ensure that a Mouse + Keyboard player is able to compete on a level pegging with someone using an Xbox controller?

Ultimately though, platform exclusivity has come to mean less and less in recent years. Sony are now looking to release their triple-A catalogue onto PC, and Microsoft now owns Activision-Blizzard – and thus Call of Duty, once the PlayStation’s golden goose.

In such circumstances, crossplay comes to be a beneficial proposition for gamers and developers alike.


Other Genres Leading the Charge

Cross-platform gaming is nothing new of course, and with the rise in prominence of the smartphone platform in particular, a growing number of diverse gaming sectors have pivoted to furnish users with accessible and familiar experiences they can enjoy on whatever format they choose.

One need only look to the iGaming sector which comprises the likes of daily fantasy sports and casino gaming to see the sharp end of this logic. Over the past decade an estimated 2+ billion people have joined the global community of internet users, and crucially, the vast majority of those have done so via a smartphone.

It can be easy to forget that there’s whole worlds of gaming outside of the privileged province of PC and console gaming – yet only 20% of households around the world own a dedicated console, and only 10% have access to a modern gaming-optimized PC. This contrasts powerfully with the 86% of people that own a smartphone. Suffice to say, smartphones increasingly represent demographic growth opportunities unlike any other sector.

It’s for this reason that online casino directories like Vegasslotsonline UK have increasingly focused their efforts on providing mobile users with competitive welcome offers and sign-up deals on free bets and spins. This has made all the difference to this sector and has empowered it to move out of the shadow of its brick-and-mortar namesake to capture new markets and enjoy sustained growth this side of the 2010s.


Future Crossplay MMOs

With crossplay increasingly pivoting to become the norm, more developers are likely to go down the path of Genshin Impact. This large anime-style F2P MMORPG launched simultaneously across PC, consoles and even mobile, with crossplay as standard.

There are meaningful benefits to this approach – not least that this gives the online community – the lifeblood of any MMO, a fighting chance of establishing itself and building a healthy player count. It’s unfortunate to consider how many solid RPGs over the previous two decades have failed simply because their play pool was isolated from each other across a number of platform specific servers.

This is a mistake that will not be repeated by some of the exciting new MMO titles coming up on the horizon. Among those loudly advocating for their crossplay integration are Tarisland, a large scale classic MMORPG under the purview of Tencent that will feature PC and mobile crossplay at launch.

Also to watch for is the upcoming Sci-fi MMORPG by Npixel, Chrono Odyssey. A true next generation blockbuster being developed by nPixel and slated for cross platform release on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5 in mid-2024, it gives the lie to the notion that this commitment to crossplay is in anyway limited to F2P and mobile-centric titles.

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