Fortnite is no doubt popular amongst gamers and non-gamers alike. Epic Games’ concept of battle royale struck a chord with many children, adults, casual gamers and hardcore players. No one foresaw the huge boom in its popularity nor the level of integration the game was going to have in the current console generation, specifically Xbox, PS4 and most recently, the Nintendo Switch.
The first port from PC was a mobile version of the game that went to IOS and Android. Soon after, Fortnite was ported to the PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch platforms where crossplay was briefly spoken of before being dismissed. Originally, PS4, PC and Mobile had abnormal compatibility rules. For example, if you were in a game with a friend on PC, you would only play against PC players even if you, yourself, had a PS4 or the mobile version. There was little server diversity between platforms.
Eventually, Epic Games ported Fortnite to Xbox and the Nintendo Switch where the companies agreed to Epic Games’ policy of crossplay. This allows for players to be connected on whatever system they play with.
This was not the case for Sony. Sony denied crossplay to users, claiming that its console was best. During an interview with the Press Association in The Independent, Sony’s President Kenichiro Yoshida said that their policy on crossplay would remain closed and unwavering. “On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play,” Yoshida said in the interview. “Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PS4, is the best experience for users. That's our belief.”
Sony went so far as to lock the accounts of PlayStation users, not allowing them to sign into their Fortnite accounts anywhere else once they had played Fortnite on the PS4.
Luckily for the MU gaming community, that ban has been lifted. In late September, Sony announced a cross platform beta test with Fortnite. This eventually lifted the crossplay ban on the platform, finally allowing users to play together.
This is a change in ideology for Sony and is a backpedal from their previous stance on PlayStation exclusivity, according to PlayStation’s official blog. Although it is true that PlayStation has been known for its dedication to a solely PlayStation experience, there is nothing unique about its decision to allow crossplay.
The decision, many gamers believe, is based around the idea that by allowing crossplay on the platform, the community rooted in PS4 will not begin to favor another console that offers something PS4 doesn't. The decision is complex and there is no one way to know for sure without a candid statement free of any corporate speak. All that is known is that the gaming community is for once, in a long time, united together in console and game, with fortnite to thank.
Alongside large ramifications for crossplay in the future, this has just as large implications for the console war as a whole. With all four of gaming's biggest platforms onboard, PC included, community discussion speculates what the future holds.
Edited by Alexandra Sharp | firstname.lastname@example.org