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Switching on Ark PS4-Xbox One cross-play would "not take more than a few days"

"Microsoft and Sony need to work it out."

Last week Ark: Survival Evolved developer Wildcard said PlayStation 4-Xbox One cross-play worked internally but Sony "won't allow" it publicly.

The revelation, in a tweet by Wildcard co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz, followed recent reports of Sony blocking Minecraft and Rocket League PS4 cross-play.

I followed-up with Stieglitz about what has become a hot and delicate topic.

"Let's just say we got a phone call over that one," he told me, referring to last week's tweet.

Fellow Wildcard co-founder Jesse Rapczak added: "Look, it's a thing that everybody asks for and everybody wants to do, and we can't really say anything other than what it is. It's easy for us to do technically and it's just policy issues, and until that gets worked out we're not different than any other game, even the big games that want to do it. It's not really something we can solve on our own.

"If all those Ark players want to be satisfied and play together, these cross-network play policy things really need to get sorted out - and then we'll do it. We're really excited about it."

"Technically it's doable," continued Stieglitz. "There's nothing preventing it. And yes, we have it running internally. We think it's cool and we would like to make it happen, so if the policies change we'd like to be first in line to turn it on. It honestly would not take us more than a few days to enable it."

Rapczak finished: "Microsoft and Sony need to work it out."

Ark: Survival Evolved launches today, after a rocky two years in Early Access but nearly 10 million sales, they told me.

As it stands, PC and Xbox One players won't be able to play together either, because the Steam version is technically incompatible, with mod support and usually a newer, greener build. "But they will be able to shortly," added Stieglitz. "That's a feature that is going to be rolled out with the ... Windows 10 version of the game that's coming out in mid-September.

"It's going to be cross-buy so if you own it already on Xbox One you'll be able to load it up in Windows without having to buy it again, and that version in particular will be able to play with the Xbox One version."

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You'll also be able to host dedicated Xbox One and PC servers on a Windows 10 machine, Stieglitz said.

Wildcard expects there to be an influx of new players to Ark: Survival Evolved this week, with player numbers expected to increase roughly 50 per cent. He hopes they will feel welcomed by new (or repurposed) and wholesome servers not riddled with exploits and cheaters.

"Clearly first impressions are going to matter a lot to these new players," he said, "and if they can get on the servers and they are performing well, and they're stable, and the support tickets are being addressed, then we'll probably make a good first impression!"

"It's show time for us. It's very much 'put up or shut up' time as far as Wildcard goes, so we're hoping it's more the former and not the latter."

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