Hi-Rez Studios is the team behind a lot of free-to-play games like Paladins, Realm Royale, and Smite. The company has built its reputation on third-person multiplayer games and it’s quite successful at them. For example, Paladins is not pay-to-win, and you never feel like you’re at a disadvantage, even if you’re a beginner. With the advent of cross-play, Hi-Rez Studios’ titles are becoming even better. Not only does the technology Microsoft pushed for increase the player base, it also leads to better behind-the-scenes results.
According to Hi-Rez Studios’ President Stew Chisam, cross-play leads to better games because it improves multiplayer experiences. On Twitter, Chisam said that it improves match quality by reducing wait times by 30 percent, level spread between players by 40 percent, helps find similar-skilled players, and reduces unfair matches by 80 percent. These are extraordinary statistics which show you just how powerful cross-play is for multiplayer games. The result of all of these improvements is that more players will try out your experience, and everyone — even newcomers — will have a great time because the overwhelming majority of players will feel like they’re evenly matched against their opponents.
Xplay improves match quality in multiplayer games. When we added crossplay between Paladins Xbox and Switch:
>> Wait time reduced 30%
>> Level spread between players down 40%
>> 40% reduction in ELO std deviation per match
>> 80% reduction in “Bad” matches (by our internal defn)
— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 8, 2019
Hopefully Microsoft and Nintendo will continue to partner with even more games in the future. Recently, Sony also announced that it was allowing select titles like Fortnite to feature cross-play with Xbox One. At this point, it seems like everyone in the gaming industry wants it, and when next-generation machines come out in 2020, this may be a default feature.
The gaming landscape is changing rapidly because cloud-based technologies are on the rise. For example, many publishers like EA and Ubisoft are either working on their own streaming technology, or partnering with companies like Google. Microsoft seems to be leading the pack because Project xCloud will allow you to stream any Xbox One game on any device, with minimal latency. At least that’s the promise.