Two of the largest video game studios, Blizzard and Valve, wish a thing that nearly every in-touch gamer has desired ever since online gaming has come into being, and that is the unification of the online services of the consoles.
Gabe Newell and Frank Pearce, the co-founders of Valve and Blizzard respectively, both told Develop that it would be ideal for both gamers and the gaming industry to have a unified online community for games that have been released on multiple platforms.
They also pointed out that the rapid progression and growth of mobile and social games indicates that gamers desire a more open ended online experience, instead of the boxed, isolated community services such as those of Xbox Live and Wii.
As stated earlier, this has been in-demand by gamers for a while now, as both console owners and PC gamers have showed the want of cross-platform multiplayer gaming. In fact, Blizzard and Valve aren’t the first gaming studios to have shown interests in this ideology, as UK’s Jagex wanted to host Runescape on all the three major consoles, but were denied.
However, seeing the immense reputation of the two companies, it is quite likely that their appeal will have a wider impact on the application of the concept. Sony has already begun to open its network by incorporating Valve’s Steam service on PS3, and the game Dust 514 is an example of cross-platform online gaming.
Of course there are certain limitations to the idea, as some games (such as the Call of Duty games, for instance) would destabilize the competitive nature and balance of online gameplay within a joint community due to the obvious technical differences (such as difference in control between keyboard/mouse and gamepads). Nevertheless for the majority of the titles the idea is quite applicable.
Valve has already started its work towards attaining (or at least encouraging) this goal, while Blizzard has promised that there shall be a lot of online gaming experiences in the future that will be ‘platform agnostic’.
We only hope that their openly shown interest of this unification can actually act as a catalyst for it.
Article courtesy to Develop