Amidst war, we can sometimes have peace. Such is the case between Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft with the most recent announcement of a shared set of safety guidelines for online gaming moderation and policy.
The trio posted a statement simultaneously which reads “Protecting players online requires a multidisciplinary approach.” The post continues with “One that combines the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community, and skilled human oversight.”
This joint effort between the console juggernauts is likely due to the increased amount of online games offering crossplay among the different platforms. Games like Fortnite, Rocket League, and Apex Legends, to name a few, now allow gamers to play together regardless of their choice of hardware.
This could eventually be problematic should each platform’s rules be enforced differently. Which is why the three companies’ newest collaboration on principles should help enforce rules and keep how they choose to approach player safety, similarly.
Back in 2017, Jim Ryan, PlayStation’s Global Sales and Marketing Head, spoke to Eurogamer, providing reasons why the company would not support crossplay for popular online games. The potential differences in how to approach player safety and enforce rules were too different across the console world. Sony didn’t want to expose its players to online environments outside of its control.
“We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe,” Ryan said. “Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.”
These new principles aim to change this. “This partnership signifies our commitment to work together to improve player safety and ensure gaming remains truly for everyone,” is stated in all copies of the announcement located on all three of the major companies’ sites.
Prevention, partnership, and responsibility are the three main categories that these new principles will cover. Customization of easy-to-use privacy controls is at the forefront of Prevention. Partnership touts cooperation between the organizations and ratings agencies for online games. Finally, Responsibility deals with a commitment of transparency for all rules implemented and creating an easy and safe way for players to report rule breakers.
We have yet to be given any indication of specific policy changes going into effect at this time. The announcement does not contain anything that would lead to any conclusions on current rule changes. It is definitely an interesting tactic between warring companies to hunker down together on a particular focus. However, how long it will last is still anyone’s guess. This also doesn’t end the console wars in terms of units sold or who has the better exclusives. So fanboys (and girls) can still rejoice in their ability to trash talk each other over social media.
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