Fortnite has turned into a thorn in the side for Sony.
So, we all know that Sony isn’t a fan of cross-play. For a company that should feel confident in their exclusives, their determination to maintain that walled garden – with no real justification – has been widely criticised.
The when Fortnite launched for Nintendo Switch during this year’s E3, it was discovered that anyone who had linked their PSN and Epic accounts couldn’t use their Epic account for the Switch version. This meant players – who in some cases, have spent significant amounts of money – couldn’t access their in-game Fortnite purchases.
This was an issue that was exclusive to Sony; players who had used their Epic accounts on Xbox One or PC faced no such issues.
As a workaround, players created additional Epic accounts to allow them to play Fortnite on Switch, and many effectively abandoned their PSN accounts. It wasn’t convenient, but it worked.
Now, following what amounts to years of people asking Sony for cross-play (second only, perhaps, to people asking to change their PSN name) that has been amplified by the Fortnite situation, Sony has, quite remarkably, decided to allow it. Sony says it has “identified a path” to cross-play, which starts with Fortnite, though this suggests further games may follow in future.
That creates a new wrinkle, however: there are now a significant number of Fortnite players with two Epic accounts, to get around Sony’s obstinance, that they don’t technically need anymore. They may well have spent real money purchasing packs and cosmetics on both.
Epic has been quick to announce that they have two solutions to this farcical manufactured issue.
1) An account-merging feature to combine Battle Royale purchases, coming in November.
2) Enabling unlinking a console from one Fortnite account, and relinking to another Fortnite account. Coming in a few days.
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) September 26, 2018
And so in the space of a couple of days, Sony has allowed its first cross-play game, and Epic is taking steps to undo the mess caused with people’s accounts following the PS4 Fortnite lockdown. It’s a brave new world, people.