Sony is facing heavy fire from players for not allowing Nintendo Switch and PS4 cross-play of the popular free to play game Fortnite Battle Royale.
During the week of E3, Epic Games hosted a live stream event called the Celebrity Pro-Am which I briefly spoke about in a previous article. Popular Fortnite streamers and celebrities paired up to play a game of duos for charity. Almost every single commercial break featured the same prominent headline. Fortnite is now available to be played on Nintendo Switch. This news excited many players who use the Nintendo Switch as their primary console. Players were delighted that they could take Fortnite on the go and not have to suffer from the poor graphics quality and controls offered on mobile devices.
Locking Out Existing Accounts
Players who were making the shift from PS4 to Nintendo Switch were sorely disappointed. When you first launch Fortnite, it asks you if you’d like to link an existing Epic Games account or create a new one. On PlayStation 4, players have the option to use their PlayStation ID as their screen name in the game. Then later, they have the opportunity to link their PSN account to a PC or mobile account later.
When players tried to use an existing Epic Games account on Nintendo Switch, some were locked out. First, players took to the forums asking if this was a bug attributed to the new release and high demand of the game on its new platform. But, it turns out that if you have your Epic Games account linked to a PSN account, you cannot use it on the Nintendo Switch. You’ll have to create an entirely new account to even launch the Battle Royale mode on Nintendo Switch. Similarly, a player on the Switch who tries to link that account to PS4 will get the same error message.
Un-linking Accounts is Not Possible
Players have tried to unlink their PlayStation accounts from their Epic Games account but receive a warning message that if they do so, they may lose all cosmetics and anything else they may have purchased. I have not tried this myself, but even the possibility of losing everything that I’ve invested money in is too much of a risk for me. Besides, unlinking your PlayStation account and linking a Nintendo Switch account in its place will not work. Once your account is tied to a PlayStation account, it will always be console locked. Otherwise, you’d be able to jump back and forth between consoles which are the opposite of what Sony wants.
Of course, fans of Fortnite are incredibly upset. Fortnite has a battle pass feature that is dependent upon players’ progress of the game. Players have the option to purchase a battle pass which unlocks new items with each tier the player reaches. With only about 20 days left in the season and at least seven weeks worth of challenges completed, starting over for some means losing a lot. Furthermore, starting over means losing every item that you’ve purchased including those $20 skins.
Fans Voice Their Opinions on Social Media
Players took to social media, bashing Sony and its cross-play policy. Sony has done this before, locking players out of Xbox One and PS4 cross-play. This has affected not only Fortnite, but other games as well such as the free to play DC Universe Online. The reason for this is just speculative. Sony hasn’t come out and said exactly why they are blocking cross-play between big companies like Microsoft and Nintendo but keeping PC and mobile cross-play available. Some people’s say it’s an issue of money, and others say it’s because the company sees Microsoft and Nintendo as rivals.
Either way, the outrage on social media this past week because of the limitations is proof that players may not stay loyal to one console. Many gamers have multiple consoles in their household and being able to keep their progress across systems is essential. Nobody wants to have to start over every time they jump to a new system. This is especially the case if they’ve already invested money into a game. It’s bad enough that you’d have to purchase a game multiple times if you want to play it on various consoles.
Are the Console Wars Continuing?
It Sony’s goal was to keep players on their PS4s, that idea may end up backfiring. Fans have become resentful that they are being blocked from sharing their progress across all systems. Not only that, but the PS4 is missing something pivotal that the Nintendo Switch can offer players. The Nintendo Switch allows players to take their game on the go and the big screen without losing much quality. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer why over two million people downloaded the game on Nintendo Switch in its first 24 hours.
It’s too early to tell if this has or will negatively impact either company. Though, it’s important to note how Sony feels about all of this. When fans approached the company about their decision to keep Fortnite console locked, Sony completely ignored the original concern. Instead, they brought attention to the fact that players can use cross-play with both PC and mobile already. This doesn’t address the problem at hand at all. To some fans, this is like a slap in the face. It is letting them know that Sony is ignoring their players’ concerns.
What Nintendo Has to Say:
Nintendo has been vocal about wanting fans of their system to be able to play Fortnite on multiple consoles. In fact, the error message for locked players on Nintendo Switch reads, “This Fortnite account is associated with a platform which does not allow it to operate on Switch. Neither the Fortnite website nor Epic customer service can change this. To play Fortnite on Switch, please create a new account.” This is some hard-core shade thrown at Sony. Nintendo is letting others know that it is neither their nor Epic Games fault because both of them want to be able to have cross-play available for as many players as possible.
What do you think about this? What system do you play Fortnite on? Will you be making the switch? Let us know in the comments below