In an interview with Pressfire.no (translated by NeoGAF), Mojang CEO Jonas Märtensson offered up a potential reason as to why Sony isn’t allowing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One cross-play – at least with Minecraft.
After revealing that the Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft requires you to log in with an Xbox Live account, Märtensson added, “That’s pretty unique as well! But everyone that’s in on this, all the platform holders, have been pretty pragmatic and understanding of that what we’re trying to do is create a good experience for the players. We needed a good system to connect everyone, and Xbox Live is a good system.”
During a recent Giant Bomb livestream, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, explained why they’re using Xbox Live with Minecraft cross-play, saying, “We use Xbox Live as the way to make sure we know who our players are, controls around parental controls and other things that we put into our platform are there, and as you’re buying things in Minecraft you want to make sure you have them available on the other platform, so we have to know who you are. And if you have a Realm that you’ve created on the PC and you want to get to it on the Switch, we have to have an identity system and we just use Xbox Live.”
When Jeff Gerstmann brought up Sony’s Jim Ryan’s recent comments surrounding Minecraft cross-play and how he said “we’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base,” Spencer responded:
I’ll jump on another grenade on this one. The fact that somebody would make an assertion that somehow we’re not keeping Minecraft players safe I found – not only from a Microsoft perspective, but from a game industry perspective – I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue. That doesn’t seem healthy for anyone.
I feel we can always do better with everything that we do, I feel great about our relationship with Minecraft… I just really found the whole discussion around safety with our game, and that somehow we wouldn’t take that as a top priority – and frankly, through our parental controls on Xbox Live and everything else that we’ve done, shown that’s incredibly important to us as a platform.
All in all, Spencer said the door is still open to Sony, and their goal is to have all Minecraft players have the full Minecraft experience.