Sony Faces Growing Fortnite Backlash At E3

Sony faces growing Fortnite backlash at E3 by Leo Kelion Technology desk editor


14 June 2018


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Sony Chiefs are under pressure to address complaints regarding "cross-play" restrictions that were imposed on Fortnite.

Gamers have discovered that if they first played the title on a PlayStation console it is not possible to use the same Fortnite account on the newly released Nintendo Switch edition.

This means that they are not able to use outfits, other in-game purchases, and rewards that they have earned.

There is no limit in the transfer of data between the Xbox One and Switch.

Gamers aren't able to share Fortnite accounts between Microsoft and Sony's platforms.

The Switch's ability to be portable is a draw for many who have purchased it as a second gaming machine.

Sony has yet to confirm whether it is responsible for the restriction. However, it made the following statement to BBC.

It also stated that they were always open to hearing suggestions from the PlayStation community about how to improve their gaming experience.

"With... more than 80 million active monthly gamers on PlayStation Network, we've built a huge community of gamers who play together on Fortnite and other online titles.

"We also offer Fortnite crossplay compatibility with PC and Mac, iOS, Android and iOS devices which gives Fortnite fans to play with other gamers on other platforms."

"We have nothing to add to this at this moment," a spokeswoman added.

Epic Games, publisher of Fortnite, and Microsoft both previously stated that Epic Games had chosen to stop PlayStation gamers from competing with other console owners in Battle Royale's multiplayer fight-to-the-death game mode.

Global hit

Sony has been criticized for blocking cross-play in other titles in the past, including Minecraft and Rocket League.

But the scale of Fortnite's success suggests that the backlash is likely to be more destructive this time around.

Epic announced this week that the game has 125 million users around the globe.

And Nintendo has announced that its free-to-play version was downloaded more than two million times within the 24 hours after its release on the Switch on Tuesday.

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Complaints about the matter are already threatening to overshadow Sony's publicity efforts at the E3 video games event in Los Angeles.

Each time it posts news about its latest releases to Twitter and Facebook the public has protested and demanded that it let them share Fortnite logins and allow cross-play.

I'm annoyed at PlayStation for holding my Fortnite account hostage as they don't want to play with other players. It's pretty sad that I cannot connect to a third party account on the Switch because it's connected to PS4. The Sony is a joke. #BlameSony

- PKMN Maestro Jerry (@PKMN_Maestro) June 12, 2018

How can @Sony PS's motto be "For the players" if they block cross compatibility with everyone... You're not for the players at all #PlayStationE3 #fortniteswitch

- Max Hart (@M_H7) June 12, 2018

The answers are all people asking Sony about unlocking Fortnite accounts.


-- Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) June 13, 2018

Since @Sony seems to be blocking cross-play on #Fortnite between PS4 and Nintendo Switch, I will be switching to Xbox One as my non-Switch platform of choice so that I can play with my children. I recommend that anyone do the same.

- Erik Kain (@erikkain) June 12, 2018

Although the PlayStation 4 is the most loved console of this generation, a professional claimed that it wasn't invincible to attacks.

Samantha Loveridge, associate editor at GamesRadar+, told the BBC that Sony must be cautious about in how it handles the situation.

"Fortnite is massive and it's growing exponentially and it's coming to Android - Sony must begin thinking about its closed-garden environment.

"One way or the other, gamers deserve an explanation as to the reason for this compatibility issue."

Sony does allow compatibility with the PC and iOS versions of the game, which suggests that the Xbox/Switch block it is a tactical option rather than an technical impossibility.

While the PlayStation firm has yet to comment however, gamers are feeling pressure from their competitors.

When asked about the issue, Nintendo's North America chief Reggie Fils-Aime said to the IGN news site: "What competitors do is their decision. We believe being both developer-forward and fan-forward is in the best interests of the game."

One of Microsoft's gaming executives, as well as one its corporate accounts, have tweeted about this issue.

It's great to see cross-play and progress between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. I know many have a Switch. We look forward to seeing you at the!

- Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) June 12, 2018

@NintendoUK Do you want to play Fortnite later?

- Xbox UK (@xboxuk) June 12, 2018

The BBC is not responsible to the content of external websites. View the original tweet on Twitter

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