Sony is once again standing in the way of the industry’s drive towards cross-platform experiences, apparently preventing Switch users from accessing progress made in the PlayStation version of Fortnite.
The fact that PlayStation wasn’t on that list isn’t exactly a surprise at this point. Sony does allow cross-play with PC, Mac and mobile, but it doesn’t allow it for Xbox One, and the same is evidently true for Switch.
In addition, PlayStation 4 owners who want to access their Epic account on Switch are being denied, due to most accounts being tied to a PSN username. The same is true for the Xbox One version, but it is arguably more egregious here due to the different use case the Switch presents: the ability to continue playing Fortnite on a portable device with good performance.
Ultimately, this means that Switch users cannot access the progress, skins and emotes they have earned or bought through playing Fortnite on PlayStation 4. The message shown when an Epic account login fails states that, “neither the Fortnite website nor Epic Customer Service are able to change this” – see this image, from Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller.
.@PlayStation, fix this.
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 (@GameOverGreggy) June 12, 2018
Epic has declined to comment on the situation, but Tim Sweeney has made his stance on cross-platform play abundantly clear in the past. Indeed, Fortnite has soared to 125 million players on the strength of making its battle royale mode free-to-play across as many inter-linked platforms as possible.
Indeed, when Sweeney talked to us at GDC this year, he expressed something close to disbelief that Sony would fence of the 80 million people who own a PlayStation 4. However, he also seemed certain that it was only a matter of time before those last barriers disappear.
“I think it’s inevitable now,” he said. “Games have become social experiences in the same way that Facebook or Twitter have, and these experiences only really make sense if gamers can communicate with all of their friends.
“For Sony and Microsoft to support their customers well they have to be open to all their customers’ friends – their real world friends – otherwise they’re breaking up real-world social groups. Like kids in school have their friends, and do you expect this platform schism to divide them into two separate groups that can’t play together? No. It’s got to come together now.
“That one remaining barrier will inevitably come down.”