Fortnite’s stealth release on the Switch during Nintendo’s pre-recorded E3 presentation was one of its highlights, but those hoping to continue where they left off on the PlayStation version of the game are having severe issues. Namely, an error message that 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 are able to change this. To play Fortnite on Switch, please create a new account.”
Strong words there from Epic, placing the blame firmly at Sony’s feet. Understandably, since it’s a customer service nightmare that the developer is eager to avoid. Especially since Switch, Xbox, mobile and PC players of Fortnite can all play with the same account and cross-play with each other. This leaves anyone who has ever linked their Fortnite account to a PlayStation copy of the game, even just to try it for five minutes, stranded in a walled garden and cut off from the majority of the community. PlayStation players are able to play with and against mobile and PC Fortniters, however.
This is in keeping with Sony’s cross-platform policy for the last few years (ie, “no thank you”), a bizarrely consumer unfriendly practice for a company that once lampooned Xbox’s DRM and always online plans for not being gamer focused. A company that proudly boasts to be “For the players”.
Sony hasn’t said why this policy is in place, nor why PlayStation Fortnite players are able to connect their accounts to PC and mobile versions of the game with no penalties. It’s likely to be linked to microtransaction purchases – the game’s main income generator – which would allow PlayStation players to benefit from purchases made on other consoles. But again this feels like a double standard considering the lack of restrictions elsewhere.
It’s unlikely that Sony will reverse this decision, but since Fortnite is the biggest game on the planet right now and the fanbase is as rabid as it is, the publisher will certainly be under a lot of pressure to do so. Asking players to create a new Fortnite account under a new email address to play on Switch is a big ask, especially for those who have already sunk dozens, if not hundreds, of hours into the game.