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It looks like player outcry concerning full cross-play support for Fortnite on the PlayStation 4 has finally bent Sony's ear. In a recent interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment of America President and CEO Shawn Layden has offered the first glimmer of hope that a solution is being worked on, so, hopefully, battle royale fans will soon have a reason to put down the pitchforks and get back into the game on any and all platforms of their choosing.
When Fortnite rolled out for the Nintendo Switch during E3 2018, some players were upset to learn that, if they had ever played the game on the PlayStation 4, they were unable to use their existing Epic account on Nintendo's platform. Sony offered a couple of statements about the issue that boiled down to a heck of a lot of nothing in the days that followed but, at long last, we've finally received a comment on the matter boasting actual substance. Here's the word from PlayStation head Shawn Layden, who, according to Eurogamer, was speaking to a crowd as part of the Gamelab conference in Spain:
We're hearing it. We're looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I'm confident we'll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.
Cross-play is a somewhat new concept in the world of gaming. Well, the idea has been around for a while, but it hasn't been implemented across platforms too many times until recently. Surprisingly, Nintendo and Microsoft seem to be totally on board with the idea if the situation makes sense, as has been seen with both Minecraft and Fortnite recently. If you have either of those games on the Xbox One, for instance, you can play with your friends on the Switch. Similarly, if you're playing Fortnite on your Switch, you can boot up your Xbox One later and keep right on trucking using the same account. Both of those platforms, as well as the PlayStation 4, also support cross-play with mobile and PC.
But, that's where Sony exits the party. As was discovered following the Switch rollout of Fortnite, you can't use your Epic account within that version of the game if you've ever played on the PS4. The hubbub is that this all boils down to where your money is spent; Sony isn't too keen on you spending $20 on Fortnite skins in the Nintendo eShop and then having the ability to use that content on the PlayStation 4, even though Sony never saw a cent from the transaction.
Layden's comment has us wondering if that's the piece of the puzzle he's talking about. Maybe a revenue share for all platforms can be worked out? Either way, we can't help but wonder how much money Sony is worried about missing out on if both Microsoft and Nintendo are comfortable with the current arrangement.
Here's hoping things get worked out soon. Holding accounts under lock and key seems like the antithesis of Sony's brand this past generation, and we'd hate to see all of that good will lost over something as silly as not allowing folks to access their Epic account on other platforms.