Nintendo Switch owners can finally play Fortnite, but neither they nor PlayStation 4 players were warned that bringing their account from one platform to the other would result in a lockout. And that’s sparked outrage across the gigantic Fortnite community.
For those who haven’t heard about the issue or run into it themselves, it’s simple. Fornite is available on numerous platforms, from the PS4 to Switch, PC, Xbox One and iOS. You can use a single account to preserve your progress across all of those platforms, at least theoretically. But accounts that have been used on the PS4 are being locked out of the Switch version of Fortnite, and accounts that have been used on the Switch are being locked out of the PS4 version.
Fans and gaming critics have taken to Twitter, Reddit and beyond to voice their outrage, and demand a fix.
And even worse, now reports are coming in of players who linked their Playstation account to an Epic account, but never played Fortnite on the PS4, being locked out of the Switch version. (With a hello to CNET alum Dan Graziano!)
Sony’s response to the issue, provided to CNET Tuesday, does little to address fan concerns, nor does it say whether the issue will be resolved in the future. Instead, it’s very much a statement-of-fact:
“We’re always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience. Fortnite is already a huge hit with PS4 fans, offering a true free-to-play experience so gamers can jump in and play online. With 79 million PS4s sold around the world and more than 80 million monthly active users on PlayStation Network, we’ve built a huge community of gamers who can play together on Fortnite and all online titles. We also offer Fortnite cross-play support with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, expanding the opportunity for Fortnite fans on PS4 to play with even more gamers on other platforms.”
This cross-platform confusion is a trend for Sony, which has repeatedly blocked efforts to bring its playerbase into the broader online multiplayer community. Many games that offer unified multiplayer experiences between PC and Xbox One are blocked from including PS4 players, and you’ll notice that in the statement above, Sony excludes the Xbox One from its list of supported cross-play platforms.
“We’re literally at the point where all we need is the go-ahead on the Sony side and we can, in less than a business day, turn it on and have it up and working no problem. It’d literally take a few hours to propagate throughout the whole world, so really we’re just waiting on the permission to do so,” Rocket League VP Jeremy Dunham told IGN last year when questions over crossplay emerged for the wildly popular game.
For now, the Fortnite cross-platform breakdown looks like this:
- PlayStation 4: PC, Mac, iOS
- Xbox One: PC, Mac, iOS and Nintendo Switch
Fortnite is this year’s biggest game phenomenon, becoming not only a huge revenue driver for Epic Games, but the biggest console free-to-play game of all time. And that was before it hit the Nintendo Switch. An Android version of Fortnite is in the works, but isn’t expected to launch until later this summer.
E3 2018: Everything you need to know
E3 2018 coverage at CNET: All of our E3 2018 coverage in one place.
- Best Black Friday Sony PS4 deals in 2019 that are still available
- The best Sony PS4 deals for Amazon Prime Day 2019
- Limited-Time Fortnite Community Event Rewards Players With a Weapon Skin
- Here's the Fortnite Community Choice skin winner
- Sydney's Live Music Community Welcomes Reforms to Lockout Laws: 'It's a Great Start'
- Fortnite Is Bad But Sony's Refusal to Play Nice Is Worse
- Black Friday deals 2019: Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PS4 discounts available now and coming soon
- Biggest Black Friday 2019 games console deals: Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PS4 discounts available now
- Best Black Friday deals 2019: Xbox, Switch and PS4 discounts available now and coming soon
- Black Friday PS4 deals 2019: Best offers out now
- Black Friday 2019 Game Console Deals: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch Bundles With Free Games
- Best Cyber Monday Sony PlayStation 4 deals in 2019