Fortnite: Battle Royale is getting a mobile version and, as crazy as that sounds, the even bigger news is that most versions of the game will also include cross-play. The only exception is that PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players won't be able to party up, because Sony and Microsoft just refuse to play nice.
This news comes to us via the Fortnite blog, where the team has updated the community on a rather ambitious-sounding mobile version of the popular 100-person shooter. The first post heading into the weekend explained that the mobile version of Battle Royale will be the same game, set on the same map, with the same gear and same weekly updates. Despite that, it's easy to assume the mobile version will still be drastically slimmed down in some way.
Not so, according to Epic. In fact, to prove how spot-on the mobile version of Fortnite is going to be, it will even feature cross-play between other platforms. The original post made the mistake of only mentioning Sony in its cross-play partnership, saying that progression and gameplay between the PS4, PC, Mac, iOS and Android versions of the game will be seamless. They added a post later explaining that, yes, the Xbox One is a part of that same functionality. The only rub is that the Xbox One crowd and PlayStation crowd won't be able to play/progress together. That sounds like it's going to be a bunch of extra work to keep the two camps separate online when cross-play is happening between a bunch of other platforms, so hopefully Sony and Microsoft will get over themselves and just allow the communities to coexist.
The blog post offers a link to sign up for the upcoming mobile beta. Said beta is focused on iOS right now, but Epic promises Android is on the way. We figure this is going to roll out in stages, maybe with mobile-only at first, then implementing the cross-play functionality. It'll certainly be interesting to see how they pull it off, and it also makes us wonder what other developers might try something similar with their own games.
More importantly, I see this as a gauntlet being thrown down on the mobile market. There have been some pretty impressive-looking mobile games to date, but Fortnite on phones seems to be taking everything, including gameplay, to a whole new level. If our phones can handle this type of game, I hope this means we'll see some more ambitious offerings from other developers in the future.
Oh, and just for my personal wish list: The Switch is basically a juiced-up Android device. Make it happen, Epic.