Sony blocks Fortnite cross-play on Switch

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2017

Fortnite players wishing to play the newly released Switch version of the game have discovered that their Epic Games accounts are being blocked if they ever played the game on a PlayStation 4.

The popular battle royale game is already a hit on the Switch – after just two days on release, it has been downloaded by over two million players. However, those who have played Fortnite on a PlayStation 4 have been getting the following error message when trying to log into their Epic Games accounts on the Switch: “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 are able to change this. To play Fortnite on Switch, please create a new account.” 

In practice, that means that they will lose their existing skins, paid-for items and progress in the game. Despite a barrage of requests to explain the move from Fortnite players and journalists, Sony has refused explain the reasoning behind the move. 

Conversely, Microsoft has capitalised from Sony’s stance: those who have played Fortnite on the Xbox One are experiencing no problems in accessing their Epic Games accounts in Fortnite on the Switch. Microsoft’s semi-official spokesman Major Nelson even tweeted instructions for achieving Xbox One/Switch cross-play in Fortnite

And gaming personality Greg Miller chipped in with a tweet which summed up the opinions of most Fortnite players, saying: “@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.”

The BBC did manage to elicit some sort of response from a Sony spokeswoman: “We’re always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience. With… 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. We have nothing further to add beyond this at this point.”

But the move leaves Fortnite players with the feeling that they are being punished because Sony views the success of the Switch as a threat to the PlayStation 4’s dominance of the current generation of consoles. We’ll bring you more news on the subject as it unfolds.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.