Gaijin Entertainment's Anton Yudintsev says War Thunder is only coming to PS4 because Sony allows cross-platform play.
War Thunder is a delightfully fun little free-to-play indie title, in which two teams of World War 2-era fighter planes duke it out in the skies. Originally starting out on the PC, it has since spread to the PS4 in Europe, with a North American release TBA. But don't expect it to come to the Xbox One any time soon, as Gaijin Entertainment CEO Anton Yudintsev explains it won't be on Microsoft's console until the company allows cross-platform play.
"Microsoft is not allowing cross-play completely; which means [War Thunder] cannot be on Xbox One," Yudintsev told GameSpot at GDC last week in San Francisco. Cross-platform play is vital for a game like War Thunder because the install base of new consoles like the Xbox One and PS4 is too small for players to have an enjoyable experience, Yudintsev said.
Aside from this, Yudintsev said his company sided with Sony because the PS4 is just so much more accommodating to indie, and free-to-play titles. "Microsoft has a lot of unspoken limitations like if you want to make a free-to-play game you have to talk to an account manager and there are no set of rules; you need to communicate them; and the rule depends on the [individual account manager]. If he likes your game you get approval, if he doesn't you don't get approval."
Yudintsev claims that Microsoft's big display of courting indies is all just for show, as the PC will still remain the king of emerging indie titles. "There's no way, I am pretty sure, that Microsoft would ever approve [an indie game] to be on Xbox Live Arcade before it became popular on the PC," he said.
But, he does have a little hope for the company, saying that "[Microsoft] has to change and they will change. They key is that they understand the necessity of change, so they will."