Glossary - Multiplatform

Multiplatform, which is sometimes also referred to as cross-platform, is a term used to refer to games that are released for video game consoles and personal computers alike. These consoles are specialized computers that can run a variety of games. Some examples of Multiplatform games are Fifa, NHL Series, Minecraft, Fortnite, etc. 

Cross-platform mobile game development has allowed games that were released for the Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox, and personal computers (PCs) to be played on mobile devices. 

The Process

Some characteristics of a specific gaming system can lengthen the time it takes to implement games on multiple platforms. This may lead to a video game to be developed on a small number of platforms at first, then the release of the game on other platforms. The reason behind this is the release of new gaming systems. Game development teams need time to adjust their development techniques to the latest hardware and software systems that come with new consoles. 

Exceptions to Multiplatform games

There might be some exceptions where video games may not become multiplatform. This may be caused by licensing agreement issues between the developers of games and video game console manufacturers. Some gaming console developers may push video game creators to limit the creation of games to their systems only. Take, for example, the release of the Microsoft Flight Simulator. Microsoft, which owns both windows systems and Xbox, may limit the release of the game to either system running windows or Xbox gaming consoles. Users of Sony’s Playstation gaming systems may never get a chance to see the game coming to their consoles.

Further down the line, due to popular demand, certain agreements can be made to allow the release of games on multiple platforms. Until then, the game won’t be having multiple platform support. 

Cross-Platform Play

Multiplatform game development has led to developers creating video games that can be played online across multiple platforms. Players on the Xbox consoles, for example, can play with other online players on the Playstation 4. This also leads to seamless interactions between online players across any given console. The first major game to integrate cross-platform play was the Quake 3 video game. It allowed PC games to play alongside console players in online matches.