Gears of War 4 crossplay will only be for cooperative multiplayer according to The Coalition, the game’s developer. This means that you can’t play competitive multiplayer against people on PC if you’re on Xbox, or on Xbox if you’re on PC. The only place that this would work in competitive play would be a versus mode against multiplayer bots.
Gears of War 4 fans had a reason to expect that there would be Gears of War 4 crossplay between both of its platforms. Gears of War 4 is available on Microsoft’s Xbox One Play Anywhere program, which would allow players to play the game either on Xbox One or PC without having to buy a new copy of the game.
With this architecture in place many gamers had their hopes up that they would be able to play against players on other consoles. Unfortunately, unless you want to play Horde Mode with your friends, or campaign or versus against bots, this won’t be possible.
More than one fan has apparently said that this will change whether they purchase the game or not.
Microsoft may ask The Coalition to put in Gears of War 4 crossplay on competitive multiplayer too, eventually, but it would depend on whether the company thinks that it’s feasible or not.
While Gears of War 4 is undoubtedly going to sell a great many copies (even more if it’s a return to the critical acclaim that the other games got), the lack of crossplay that will be coming for PC and Xbox One may impact its sales somewhat.
It may also be because Microsoft doesn’t want to push the envelope too hard at the moment. This is the first time a Gears of War game will be releasing on both the Xbox and the PC at the same time, so it’s likely that Microsoft doesn’t believe it could satisfactorily put out a cross-platform multiplayer experience.
Either way it’s likely people will have to grin and bear it, unless Microsoft one day puts out an update that allows cross-platform competitive multiplayer.