E3 2018: Sony Responds To Anger Over Fortnite Cross-Play Block

"We're always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience."

225 Comments
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Now Playing: Fortnite On The Nintendo Switch Lives Up To Expectations - E3 2018 Gameplay Impressions

Epic's massively popular battle royale game Fortnite launched for Nintendo Switch during E3 earlier this week, and like most other versions, it supports cross-play and cross-progression with PC, Xbox One, and iOS--but not PS4. As with Rocket League, Sony has faced criticism for blocking cross-play between the PS4 and other versions of Fortnite, and now the company has addressed the topic--although its response likely won't satisfy players.

"We're always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience," a Sony representative said to the BBC. "Fortnite is already a huge hit with PS4 fans, offering a true free-to-play experience so gamers can jump in and play online.

"With 79 million PS4s sold around the world and 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."

Sony's PS4 has been the best-selling platform of its generation, but the company's response to the cross-play controversy completely skirts the issue and doesn't provide much hope that the company will reverse course. This is especially problematic for players who started playing Fortnite on PS4 and were hoping to continue on a different platform, as they can't carry any of their progress over.

Both Microsoft and Nintendo have been much more open to cross-play. A handful of titles, including Minecraft and the aforementioned Rocket League, allow players to carry their progress or compete against players on other platforms, leaving Sony as the sole major holdout.

Despite being available on Switch for only a couple of days, Fortnite has already surpassed 2 million downloads on the console and reached a staggering 125 million players between all platforms. We tried out the new Switch version of Fortnite and found it has all of the features you would expect of the game, although its framerate has taken a hit.

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Avatar image for thebigwig1894
thebigwig1894

I don't care personally because all my friends who I play fortnite with are either on PC or PS4 like me anyway, but it is a stupid choice for them to make since every other platform is open to crossplay

Avatar image for darklordvyperx
darklordvyperx

This is why I haven't owned a Playstation since the PS2. Sony has their butts puckered too tight to understand that these cross play blocks will eventually cost them customers.

Avatar image for santinegrete
santinegrete

You just don't want to share your playerbase, we get it Sony. MS pulled that dick more previous gen, now you proved you're not better. Why this kind of attitudes repeat on each console manufacturer?

Well, I hope one of the 3 don't retry what Mattrick tried with Xbox One.

Avatar image for MaddenBowler10
MaddenBowler10

I know a lot of people are saying this doesn't matter much to them because there's enough people on PSN but that isn't the point. What about the Mom and Dad that are playing on PS4, and only bought their child a Switch? Can't play together. But they would certainly have that option if they had an Xbox One. This just seems petty by Sony.

Avatar image for RaveNRolla
RaveNRolla

it's because we don't need anyone else! just kidding of course, but i don't get why it's so important anyway. there are lots of players on psn, and i bet there are on the xbox network and pc. what is the need here?

also, seriously, consider this site's (or ign's) comment sections. do you guys really think it's a good idea to let xbox players play against ps players? what if one of the controllers is more responsive than the others? it seems like more of a hassle than actually creating anything worthwile.

Avatar image for philosophies
PhilOsophies

Other platforms need Sony... the industry leader Sony doesn't need them

Xbox and Switch crying over Sony's rejection of them like a scorned lover lmfao

Avatar image for marsdude
MARSDUDE

@philosophies: They're really not. It would, however, allow people to play with their friends on other systems.

Avatar image for ZeEzO
ZeEzO

I wouldn't call paying a montly fee a "genuine free to play experience" you know because you need PSPlus in order to play online, so how the feck is that free if your already paying to play.

That's not free.

Avatar image for hrv_25
hrV_25

@ZeEzO: you don't need PS plus to play fortnite. Same goes for world of tanks, warframe,paladins all FTP games. No subscription required.

Avatar image for fennecb612
FennecB612

I just visited my brother, who has an Xbox One, and I pulled out my Nintendo Switch I had with me and we played some duos in Fortnite.

I'd never buy an Xbox One, and when I'm at home I can just play with him over PC, but it was so nice to be able to play with him Crossplay while I visited.

The fact that Sony players don't have that option is disgusting, for years I've encouraged dozens of parents toward buying their kids PS4's when it came to consoles because the PS4 has a great game selection. But I won't do that any longer. I wouldn't want a kid to discover when he wants to play Minecraft or Fortnite on his console with his friends on Switch, to find out that they can't because Sony hates gamers and wants to deprive their userbase of basic features.

When I grew up we did split-screen couch co-op games. Now that doesn't happen much anymore, people need to be able to play together on various consoles. When traveling, they might want to pull out a Switch and play Minecraft together with someone else. You could have three kids together, one on PC, one on Xbox, one on Switch all playing together. Crossplay is replacing lost couch co-op or yore. The fact that Sony doesn't play well with others makes them a terrible choice for a gaming console for kids.

Coming this holiday season, based on my influence and how many parents ask me about game console purchases, I am going to personally and single-handedly prevent dozens of PS4 purchases from rich parents who buy their kids tons of games, costing Sony thousands and thousands of dollars over this single issue. Hopefully this same story will echo throughout the gaming community. I'd be happy with Sony dying over this ridiculous and completely unacceptable behavior.

Avatar image for RaveNRolla
RaveNRolla

@fennecb612: when kids hang out together nowadays they sit next to each other, each busy on their mobile. it seems more like you want to encourage that particular behaviour or make it even worse. that would be even more unacceptable.

Avatar image for rawkstar007
rawkstar007

@fennecb612: Decent troll. 6/10.

Avatar image for fennecb612
FennecB612

This has nothing to do with crossplay, I play on PC and have no interest playing between different consoles, I just want to play occasionally on my Switch when traveling.

I simply linked my PS4 account to my Epic account because Epic DIDN'T WARN ANYTHING ABOUT ANY ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES for linking accounts, or say anything about this process being IRREVERSIBLE. "Crossplay" means playing in a game session with people on other consoles, I'm fine not having that feature, but no one said anything about if I ever log in one single time on my PS4, or even use Epic's "connect your Sony account" feature prominently displayed on their website, that I would be PERMANENTLY prohibited from playing on Switch.

If I unlink my Sony account, Epic is saying I will lose all progressions and purchases, even though ALL of that progression and purchases were made on PC.

I couldn't care less about crossplay, stop saying this story is about crossplay. This is about severely illegal anti-consumer behavior on behalf of Epic. They should make it CLEAR that "linking" a Sony account to your Epic Games account will PERMANENTLY cripple your Epic games account and cause you to LOSE ALL PURCHASES if you ever want to play on your Switch.

Crossplay shouldn't have anything to do with purchases or progression made on PC. Just because I "linked" my Epic games account and Sony account on their website shouldn't mean I LOSE MY PURCHASES if I play on Switch.

It's clearly time to file a class action lawsuit against Epic.

Avatar image for rawkstar007
rawkstar007

Okay. That sucks but honestly: How many of us really cares about crossplay? I mean REALLY cares? I’m genuinely asking because I’m not seeing the big deal or surprise. Granted, I grew up with games and consoles most of which were not online, let alone cross-playable. Have we really become so spoiled that something like this would actually anger us? I mean, come on...

Avatar image for RaveNRolla
RaveNRolla

@rawkstar007: i don't care about it. there's enough players on psn to play with. and i don't see myself switching to another console in the future (although let me emphasize again that i think ps4 and xbox are equal in quality).

Avatar image for ice12tray
Ice12Tray

@rawkstar007: Normally, it’s just a “oh that sucks” type of thing, but it’s different here because if you have a psn account linked to your Fortnite account, you are officially kicked out of everything you’ve earned, paid for, and will lose it all if you want to move over to another system.

Avatar image for RaveNRolla
RaveNRolla

@ice12tray: ...which is a normal thing. back in the ps3 era i made multiple accounts WITH THE INTENTION of starting games i really like at 0% again.

(Edit: online play was free on the ps3. you can still create multiple accounts on a ps4 but you would have to pay ps+ separately for each. otherwise i would probably still do it.)

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@rawkstar007: It never annoyed you to not find your save in a game because of no memory cards, having wrong memory cards, switched consoles or something?

Video games are entirely about "no one else cares but me, and I am very frustrated"

Avatar image for rawkstar007
rawkstar007

@PrpleTrtleBuBum: Wait...what? I fail to see the comparison in your analogy. It sounds like you’re just describing forms of user error.

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@rawkstar007: its about convenience. you used to have saves wherever and it was annoying. nowadays you can keep your saves universal. except for these asses

Avatar image for rawkstar007
rawkstar007

@PrpleTrtleBuBum: Yeah, okay. Sure. Convenience. I can understand that. But the reality is that this feature is nobody’s dealbreaker and serves to benefit their competition. It’s a minor convenience to consumers at best. Knowing that, if you ran Sony, would you do it? I wouldn’t.

The average consumer isn’t going to buy the same game among multiple platforms, let alone complain that their save files don’t universally transfer. They aren’t going to return their console because Johnny’s PS4 can’t play a game online with Timmy’s XB1.

No console is perfect but when you consider the competition, Nintendo with their archaic practices (you want to talk about saves? Lol) and Microsoft with their sparse library this time around, I’d say Sony got off pretty easy with such minor inconveniences.

Avatar image for LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

who cares? i don't play the game...but if i did....i wouldn't care to play with xbox players...and definitely not switch players.

Avatar image for strikke
Strikke

blame what Microsoft did to Sony in the last gen years ago lol jk

Avatar image for Paulf001
Paulf001

You should also blame Epic. Because obviously they signed a contract with Sony that allows micro transactions bought on PS4 to only be used on PS4 and Epic agrees with it because they themselves are the ones that enforce the rules. If Epic didn't agree with how the account system and microtansactions work they wouldn't have agreed to do it the way they are doing it.

Avatar image for fennecb612
FennecB612

@Paulf001:

I didn't buy or earn anything on PS4, I play exclusively on PC, I just happened to link my Sony account because I had one, they encouraged me to do so on Epic's website, and Epic didn't say ANYTHING about it being irreversible or having any adverse effects. Now if I want to play on Switch I will lose all my PC progress and PC purchases, even though I've never even played on PS4.

Avatar image for deactivated-5d27a0be87356

FYI, if you think it would be smart of Sony to share their installed base with anyone at this point, you should not run a business, ever.

Avatar image for xxdavidxcx87
xxdavidxcx87

Totally agree with sony's position on this, they are the ones with the much larger player base, so if you get the PS4 you get more people to play with, why would they give that up, it's just being smart.

Avatar image for mike468
mike468

@xxdavidxcx87: This has zero to do with cross play you dunce, no matter what BS sony feeds you.

This has everything to do with locking down microtransactions that are account based. Sony has zero claim these Epic/Fortnite accounts, because they are owned and maintained by Epic.

Avatar image for H0RSE
H0RSE

"We're always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in....and will cordially tell them to **** off when their wants conflict with our agenda. "

Avatar image for xxdavidxcx87
xxdavidxcx87

@H0RSE: there are plenty of players on PS4, it's ms begging Sony for it's players.

Avatar image for Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@xxdavidxcx87: No, he's right. If Sony was listening to the PlayStation community, PS+ wouldn't be required to play even a single game online.

Avatar image for santinegrete
santinegrete

@Jinzo_111887: yeah, like in PS3, but anyone who says it is worth to pay for the sake of online stability and reliability, I can't discuss that (unlike the ilussion of value of free 'restricted' games).

Avatar image for rednival
rednival

The problem is that Sony has nothing to lose. They are the king of the hill in the console market. I believe they have convinced themselves that the only parties that benefit from cross-play on consoles are their competitors. They are not going to change until this decision has some sort of negative result.

Make no mistake: Epic games has the power to force change here. Sony is likely making a killing on VBucks sales. Fortnite is the biggest game in the world and PS4 customers have no issue with cross-play. If Epic were to start withholding game modes or were to pull Fortnite entirely, Sony would have no choice but to cave on this issue.

Sony and Epic are both complicit in this.

Avatar image for mike468
mike468

@rednival: You're right Fortnite and Epic does have all these power here. They could force Sony's hand, because these accounts are owned and maintained by Epic. Sony has zero claim to them, despite being created/ linked to a Sony PSN account.

If Sony wants to make this argument about cross play, then Epic should simply enable crossplay out of spite. They showed a year ago, it's as simple as flipping a switch.

Epic, should just enable cross play, and tell sony they're leaving it on until Sony unlocks their Fortnite accounts. If not, let Sony be the one to pull the plug on the game entirely, on the ps4.

Does anyone think Sony has the balls to pull the plug the biggest and hottest game (Fortnite) ATM? Because I seriously doubt it. It would force Sony's hand, to either buckle and accept cross play, or at the very least unlock the fortnite accounts.

Avatar image for H0RSE
H0RSE

@rednival:
"The problem is that Sony has nothing to lose. They are the king of the hill in the console market. I believe they have convinced themselves that the only parties that benefit from cross-play on consoles are their competitors."

pride before the fall.

Avatar image for rednival
rednival

@H0RSE: That is a lovely thought, but they are far too ahead right now. If the next generation is 2-3 years off, and 2-3 years is a long time to wait and a lot can happen. Sony is still the one providing a semi-affordable VR experience and their first-party titles are on point, so plenty of people are not going to care about this cross-play issue.

Ultimately, I think this is going to boil down to whether or not Sony can stand all the negative publicity. Hopefully, the press will keep them in the pressure cooker.

By the way, it is so pathetic when gamers and the press have to save a company from themselves. This "play it anywhere" type of game is bound to see imitators and become popular. Sony will have to cave on this someday, and they could save themselves a lot of grief by realizing that now.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

Wow, that's a whole lot of dodging. This is a dick move by Sony, but what truly disgusts me is that some gamers are actually defending them.

Avatar image for onehitta323
onehitta323

@xenomorphalien: you mad bro? Can't find enough people to play on Xbox so you need Sony's help ? Lmao.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@onehitta323: Yeah, I can't find enough people out of the 40-45 million people with an Xbox, or the nearly 20 million on Switch, or the entire PC userbase. Derp.

You're such a sheep. Sony's only holding you back, and like a blind fanboy you still defend them. Bend over for them again, sheep..

Avatar image for onehitta323
onehitta323

@xenomorphalien: 40-45 million xbox ones just sitting on the shelves of stores you mean? LOL Microsoft is scared to report their numbers this gen. hmmmmm wonder why? LOL I wouldn't either if I was getting destroyed by the competition. The switch already sold more than the xbox. You still in long queues for games because barely anyone bought an xbox one? LOL beg for sony's help some more x bot.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@onehitta323: Citation needed for Switch selling more than the Xbox. In fact, the Switch has basically lost it's momentum these past few months.

Estimates have shown around 36.4 million Xbox since June of last year from an infographic of MS France. Combined with the X helping them have record holiday numbers, 40-45 million is a completely reasonable estimate. Not like I'd expect you to think about it, though.

Don't have any queues for games on Xbox. Have you played it? Probably not (considering you still haven't given me a GT), but with the Xbox userbase, Switch userbase and PC userbase, got plenty of people to play with.

So, your blind fanboyism has blinded you of reality. Again.

Avatar image for spyweb84
Spyweb84

Here is the thing... Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox all have their own exclusives, IPs, and networks. That's cool, but it's about time that the olive branch extends for titles that are cross-platform. It gives studios ambition to develop titles to get maximum exposure and the opportunity to cross boundaries beyond a single system. I understand exclusive titles, but if the developer worked hard to get it on ALL consoles... the big three should allow cross play. #spyweb

Avatar image for mike468
mike468

@spyweb84:

My view on cross-play has always been...if you look at email and mobile platforms, iPhone users aren't prevented from sending email to android or PC users, or gmail accounts aren't restricted from sending email to yahoo based accounts.

Gaming communities should be the same way. It's should be 1 community, regardless of platform. Epic showed last year with fortnite it's as simple as flipping a switch, and game developers want this just as much, if not more than gamers do. Think of the benefit for smaller niche genres, like fighting games. Having a unified user base and community. Also as game communities taper off, it keeps the dedicated user base together, rather than fracturing it across multiple platforms.