When will Crossplay become an industry standard for racing games?

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Cross-platform play hasn't been a common feature until the last few years. It’s now become a buzz-term in video gaming and an automatic selling point.

Crossplay is the feature which allows gamers who have different consoles to play against each other, as long as they both have the same game.

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This has been a huge success for games like Minecraft and Call of Duty: Warzone, as they’ve enjoyed a huge surge in their multiplayer numbers. 

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Despite this, crossplay is still very uncommon in racing games, but when will this change?

Why do racing games need crossplay?

Crossplay literally breaks down barriers between consoles and allows friends to compete against each other despite not owning the same console. 

need for speed hot pursuit remastered
REMASTERED: Hot Pursuit's recent remaster is one of a new breed to have crossplay

It’s no exaggeration to say that this will increase the popularity of certain games, especially online. Without crossplay, if you were on Xbox and your friends on PlayStation, you wouldn’t be able to race against them.

Increased availability of crossplay will drive sales up, as players will be keener to buy if they have more friends to play with. 

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There’s also the esports side to things too. When players from all systems can race against each other, there will be a true champion for each game.

The days of saying things like “but you won the Xbox league, the PC league is the hardest” will be over. 

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Obviously, this only applies to games that are intended to be released on more than one console. Console exclusives like Gran Turismo and Forza will never have crossplay and nor should they.

Which racing games already have it?

Despite being uncommon in the racing genre, there are some racing games that already have crossplay enabled.

nfs heat 1
REVOLUTIONARY: Heat has had crossplay for months now
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Need for Speed Heat is probably the most high-profile racing game which has crossplay, as PS4 and Xbox One players can compete in the same lobbies.

The same goes for the recent NFS: Hot Pursuit Remaster as well, that also has Crossplay enabled. So, going forward, we can expect NFS titles to have Crossplay from the outset.

READ MORE: NFS Next Gen: These games need to be remastered

Rocket League has also had crossplay for years now, with PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC gamers all play against each other online.

There aren’t many others out there, but technically games like Forza do between Windows PC and Xbox. Although, those systems are made by the same company, so it’s not the crossplay we’re looking for. 

Which games could get it?

The majority of racing games that could get crossplay enabled aren’t out yet, as it is a big feature to update a game with. However, Heat did just that earlier this year, so it’s definitely possible.

F1 2020 Race Start TN 1
NEXT-GEN: Could next-gen bring crossplay to the F1 games?

Codemasters included split-screen multiplayer in F1 2020, so we could see crossplay enabled for next year’s game.

Series like WRC, Project Cars, DIRT and Assetto Corsa are all released on multiple systems, so they would benefit from full cross-platform support too.

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Crossplay will aid game developers from a financial standpoint too. This is due to only one set of servers will be needed to host the online multiplayer, rather than three or four for multiple consoles. 

It really is only a matter of time before crossplay becomes a standard feature for racing games.