With Fortnite hitting the Nintendo Switch at E3 2018, developer Epic Games has confirmed that like most games, Fortnite Nintendo Switch crossplay is limited to Switch owners playing against those on Xbox One, PC (both Windows and macOS), and mobile (which for now is iOS only, though an Android release is in the works). What this means is, if you’ve been playing Fortnite on the Xbox One, PC, or iOS, you can carry over and sync your progress with the Switch version of the game. But if you’ve been playing Fortnite on the PS4 and want to move your progress over to the Switch, there’s no such luck.
This should come as no surprise. Other games like Minecraft and Rocket League have similar restrictions thanks to Sony not allowing for cross-platform play. In Fortnite’s case, trying to link the Epic Games account you have on the PS4 with the Nintendo Switch version results in an error saying this is not allowed. Keep in mind that PS4 Fortnite players can play against those on PC and iOS.
That said, we wonder how much of a loss crossplay truly is. Not too many gamers may hold it as dear as certain platform holders would have us believe.
According to a survey by GameTrack (via GamesIndustry.biz), it seems that cross-platform play adds little value to gamers’ purchasing decisions with 58 percent being “Indifferent” to it, eight percent of all respondents felt “Fairly Negative” or “Very Negative” about the push for cross-platform play from the games industry while 34 percent saw it as a positive trend. The survey claims that cross-platform play is not a major factor when gamers decide about buying a console.
Furthermore, when presented with cross-platform play as a feature that may sway them to buy one console over another, 54 percent disagreed with 38 percent disagreeing strongly. Only 13 percent agreed with the statement. In the same vein, 56 percent disagreed that cross-platform play would convince them to buy into a console’s service like PSN or Xbox Live versus 13 percent who agreed it would.
The same applies to games too. 48 percent disagreed that cross-platform play would be a reason to buy a game they may have ignored compared to 17 percent who agreed and 49 percent of respondents disagreed that cross-platform functionality would make them more likely to play online than they currently do, compared to 17 percent who agreed.
That said, here’s a little explanation from Sony Worldwide Studios Head Shuhei Yoshida on why PS4 and Xbox One cross-play is not possible.
“Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward,” Yoshida had said in March 2016, when the same subject came up with reference to Rocket League. “Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish… We also have to look at the technical aspect – and the technical aspect could be the easiest. We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well.”
In a conversation with Gadgets 360, Mark Little, Executive Producer at WWE 2K18 developer Visual Concepts said enabling cross-play is a lot more complicated than just flipping a switch.
“I can only imagine the complexities of those conversations between the two [Sony and Microsoft] and some of those of complexities come in the areas of stuff like purchasable content and if ‘we allow cross-platform play, what does it mean to purchase on one platform and play it on the other’,” Little had said. So there’s a lot of really complicated issues. It’s not our problem. It’s on the first-party side. There’s a lot of interesting things they need to figure out as first-parties that has nothing to do with us. Once they figure it out we’ll figure out what our plan is.”
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