Sony’s Fortnite cross-play nightmare isn’t going away

Sony needs to be concerned about how its handling the Fortnite disaster that continues to unfold, and it has already been more than 24 hours.

Here’s the situation: If you’ve ever played Fortnite on the PlayStation 4 using your Epic Games account, that account is blocked from playing the game on the Nintendo Switch. That means your skins, your for-pay items and even your previous progress won’t be available on the PlayStation 4.

The situation is just as bad moving in the other direction as well; if you play the game on the Nintendo Switch, that account will be blocked from playing on the PlayStation 4. Here’s the error message you get from the console, and it strongly implies that this is not Epic’s fault:

“This Fortnite account is associated with a platform which does not allow it to operate on Switch,” the error message states. “Neither the Fortnite website nor Epic Customer Service are able to change this. To play Fortnite on Switch, please create a new account.”

Sony has yet to address the blocked Fortnite accounts publicly in any way, and players are being relentless about demanding answers. Microsoft continues to dunk on the company. Remember, we still don’t know what exactly is going on or why, but popular sentiment is aligned against Sony.

If you plan on playing @FortniteGame on your Switch here is how you connect your Xbox Live account to your Epic account And your progression & items purchased in game on Xbox One will appear on your Switch after your accounts are connected

— Larry Hryb @ E3 (@majornelson) June 13, 2018

What in the hell is Sony doing right now? Even a statement saying they’re looking into it and will have details soon would be helpful. But fans and competitors are beating the hell out of them and they’re staying completely silent.

Sony has had to deal with the crossplay issue in the past with games like Minecraft and Rocket League, but those situations were managed and went away relatively quickly. This issue won’t go anywhere until Sony says that it will either help fix things, or that players will just have to deal with the fact they will get punished for playing Fortnite on the PlayStation 4.

To give you an update: Nintendo declined to comment. Epic declined to comment. Sony has yet to return any of our communications. Sony is having trouble even posting anything during E3 right now without getting mobbed by players complaining about this account issue. For example, the responses to the company’s E3 schedule is a long string of complaints and arguments about Fortnite.

It continues like this for quite awhile
Twitter via Polygon

“Here’s another reply telling you that your Fortnite account lockdown is utter absurdity,” gaming personality Jim Sterling wrote on Twitter. It’s the most popular response to Sony’s tweet which, again, is just about the company’s schedule.

Players on Reddit are also going in on Sony.

Greg Miller — who, it should be noted, hosted a long-running PlayStation fan podcast called “PS, I Love You,” — challenged the company directly:

.@PlayStation, fix this.

Not allowing me to sign-in to Fortnite Switch with my Epic account because it’s linked to PS4 is tone deaf and points more to fear than market dominance.

It does the opposite of what you want — it makes me think about moving to Xbox for Fortnite.

— Greg Miller (@GameOverGreggy) June 12, 2018

That tweet has 19,500 retweets and over 8,200 comments. That’s a strong ratio, and it underscores how big this issue is among players.

Parody accounts might as well join the NBA with these dunks:

Today we revealed another big console exclusive: your Fortnite account.

— Ex-CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) June 12, 2018

What is Sony doing after an entire day of being on the receiving end of this much pain? Staying silent … completely silent. No one from the company has even vaguely tweeted about the situation, and we have no communication from anyone within Sony after multiple messages. It’s exceedingly rare to have a situation this large be met with complete radio silence from company executives.

Sony dominated this generation, in part, by being humble and being in touch with what players wanted. The PlayStation 4 was more powerful and less expensive than the Xbox One at launch, which certainly helped, but Sony also made it clear it was fighting back against invasive DRM and Microsoft’s proposed system that would have made it harder to sell or borrow games.

Remember this from 2013?

We may hear the excuse that it’s only been a day, but the above video proves how quickly Sony can move when it wants to get its message out. The Fortnite situation is one in which Sony can’t be as confident in its response.

But now we seem to be dealing with a newly arrogant Sony, with a platform that is on top and doesn’t feel it needs to open the doors to let other people play. But those angry players aren’t going away, and Sony is going to have to address this, one way or the other. The question at this point is how much goodwill it’s going to lose until it does, and how satisfactory its response will be.

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