Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming espionage MMO The Agency is not going to allow cross-platform play between the PC and the PS3, according to lead designer Hal Milton.
Speaking at SOE's annual Fan Faire in Las Vegas, Milton said, "There's no technological reason why you can't play cross-platform, but there’s a philosophical reason why design doesn’t want to do it. If we have to compromise one platform to support both, then we won't.
"A couple of members of our team gained a lot of experience working on Shadowrun, and no matter how well you fine-tune it, you end up with a player-base that's polarised," Milton said, referring to Microsoft's ill-fated cross-platform shooter for PC and Xbox 360.
"PC guys say, 'PS3 guys have aim assist and the controls nerfed for them'. And PS3 guys say, 'PC guys have a mouse and keyboard - it's all easier for them'. Even if it's not true.
"So what I would rather concentrate on is taking all that delicious persistent data and the community capabilities and try to find more interesting ways of putting that together," Milton added, and yes, he did describe persistent data as being "delicious".
When we quizzed him further on what kind of "interesting ways" he had in mind for combining the PC and PS3 player-bases, Milton said, "The community stuff's pretty easy - there's an economy, and there's chat. On the gameplay side, I can't talk about what we're planning. But there are metagame elements that allow us to say, 'Hey PS3 guys, the PC guys care more than you!' And they’ll be, 'No they don't! I'll show you!'"
During a Q&A session on The Agency, design director Matt Wilson also suggested that with a single account, you should be able to create characters on both PS3 and PC versions of the game. But as Milton confirmed, you will not be able to pick up on PS3 where you left off on the PC version or vice versa, and two different copies of the game will be required.
For more on The Agency - including an in-depth preview, and an interview with Milton and Wilson - visit the gamepage.