When Nintendo announced that Fortnite was coming to the Switch, and today, it came as happy news. Just not to PlayStation 4 players. After downloading the game on Switch and going through the process to connect their existing accounts, many gamers found that they weren't allowed to do so. The reason? Sony doesn't want to play nice with Nintendo.
Playing Fortnite requires the creation of an Epic Games account. This account can be linked to PC, Mac, iOS, Xbox, PS4, and now Switch. It keeps track of a player's progress, what skins and items they've unlocked, and even the things they've purchased if they have a Battle Pass. These things can be shared among different platforms should you want to play at home or on the go. At least that was the plan before this hiccup was discovered.
.@PlayStation, fix this.— Greg Miller (@GameOverGreggy) June 12, 2018
Not allowing me to sign-in to Fortnite Switch with my Epic account because it's linked to PS4 is tone deaf and points more to fear than market dominance.
It does the opposite of what you want -- it makes me think about moving to Xbox for Fortnite. pic.twitter.com/D9xqv9aWdF
Greg Miller of Kinda Funny was one of many gamers who tried to link an account that was previously associated with PS4 to Fortnite's Switch version. When he did, he got a message stating that “This Fortnite account is associated with a platform which does not allow it to operate on Switch."
That makes it seem like Epic Games is placing the blame entirely upon Sony. It's not a technical issue with Fortnite, it's that Sony doesn't want you playing anywhere but PS4. That might've been fine a few years ago, but cross-platform gaming is becoming increasingly common, and to resist it just comes across as petty and limiting to the consumer.
Meanwhile, trying to play on PS4 with an account created on the Switch earns this message:
The only option is to make a new account. This means if you want to play on PS4 and Switch, you'll need two separate accounts. That's irritating as it also makes it so progress and items earned can't be shared between the two platforms. Twice the grind, half the fun.
Perhaps the only bright spot of this whole mess is that someone over at Xbox UK took the opportunity to deliver some grade-A savagery.
Maybe Phil Spencer was onto something when he went on about gaming as a unifier during Microsoft's conference.