14 June 2018 - 13:28

Sony refuses to even acknowledge Fortnite account locking in first response to controversy

Players are very unhappy at their Fortnite accounts being blocked Switch if they played on PS4.
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Image via Epic Games

Sony has given a response of sorts to player criticism of Fortnite accounts used on PlayStation being blocked from playing on Nintendo Switch—but the company refused to actually address the complaints.

When Fortnite went live on Nintendo Switch as soon as it was announced on Tuesday, fans were pretty hyped. The game has been downloaded over two million times already, so the port should be considered a resounding success.

Within just a few hours though, some players' hype had turned to anger. They found that if they had previously played Fortnite on PlayStation 4, there was no way to use that account on Nintendo Switch. Even if they unlinked it from their PlayStation in every way imaginable, they were still locked out. If you played on PlayStation the only solution right now is to create a whole new account to play on Nintendo Switch. You won't have access to your cosmetics, or your friends list.

In the aftermath of this, Sony's share value has dropped two percent—something some observers are attributing to this backlash.

Sony has finally responded to the BBC when asked for comment about the issue, after two days of criticism. But the company didn't actually answer any of the complaints being put to them.

”We’re always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience." A Sony representative told 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.”

That... doesn't really say anything. Yes, they do support cross-play with non-console systems, but that doesn't address the issue. Not offering cross-play with other consoles is disappointing, but not entirely surprising—it's something Sony has done before with games and other software. But completely blocking customers from using a third-party game account on another system is a new low.

As far as Fortnite is concerned, PlayStation 4 is the only console with any restrictions. If you play on Nintendo or Xbox One, you can play with or against players on either of the two consoles, mobile or desktop. Microsoft has not been shy about reveling in its rival's squirming, either.

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