Just last week, the LucasArts-era PC cult classic Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy was ported to PlayStation 4 and Switch. Apart from some iffy menus, it’s largely a decent port with a good control scheme, high-resolution graphics, decent framerates, and all the content present. It even has multiplayer!
But that last point has become something of a problem, as veteran PC players have found a way to enter console lobbies, and they’re crushing the newer Switch and PS4 players.
It’s made possible by the fact that the console ports’ multiplayer servers appear to work the same way as their PC counterparts have for almost two decades, and the IP address for each server is exposed to the user. PC players can use that IP address in the Windows version of the game and join a Switch match. Forums like ResetEra have console players complaining that PC players are trolling them and that the invaders have an unfair advantage.
That’s likely true. PC players have access to additional tools that players of the console version don’t. But also, Jedi Academy is a more nuanced and sophisticated game than it appears, and PC players have been building muscle memory for complex maneuvers and developing arcane and difficult-to-execute strategies since 2003. The majority of console players are likely either long-lapsed players, players who didn’t get into multiplayer before, or folks who are new to the game altogether.
Even back in the 2000s, Jedi Academy‘s multiplayer mode was known for a high technical-skill cap and difficult learning curve, even by the standards of other competitive multiplayer games then and today. The PC players still playing today not only broke through the initial barriers to get good; they’ve refined their play over many, many years of practice in a game where the sky is the limit. Debates about optimal input methods aside, it’s no surprise players on the Switch and PS4 aren’t keeping up.
Ars reached out to Aspyr Media, the studio that ported the game from PC to the console platforms, and the company promised that it will soon “remedy” the “loophole” soon. Here’s the statement:
We’re absolutely thrilled and appreciative of the support that our fan community has given last week’s launch of Star Wars™ Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy on PS4 and Nintendo Switch. We are aware of the current bug that allows multiplayer cross play between PC and console. As with every game we work on, we are fully committed to delivering great gaming experiences for players, which includes a fair playing field for all. A remedy for this loophole is now in the works and will be available soon.
Despite recent pushes for more multiplayer game developers to include crossplay in their titles, this crossplay appears accidental. And it’s admittedly much easier to implement crossplay when you don’t have modern games-as-a-service features like game-specific user profiles, in-game stores, and skill-based matchmaking.
Aspyr hasn’t said when the remedy will come, apart from “soon.”