Fortnite developer Epic Games has recently made some significant changes to cross-play matchmaking that are bound to be contentious for certain sectors of the player base. As part of the latest patch to go live for all gamers, the studio has confirmed that those playing on Nintendo Switch will no longer be able to match with players on Microsoft or Sony’s Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively.
Do the redefined platform boundaries mean Switch owners are now restricted to playing only with their peers? Not at all. Epic has instead combined the Switch’s matchmaking pool with mobile, explaining the decision as being a result of “unlocking optimization potential.”
The change, according to Epic, means both Switch and mobile players can expect, on average, a “better per-game experience,” though I suspect owners of the former are unlikely to see it that way. The entirety of Epic’s reasoning for the change is as follows:
Motivating factor is unlocking optimization potential allowing us to run more playlists during more hours of the day while supporting more data center locations. Please provide us with feedback on your experience!
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It’s no secret that the Big N’s flagship device houses less-powerful hardware within its modest frame, and in that regard, Epic’s decision can only be considered sound, but it’s nonetheless a regrettable outcome. Last year’s debacle concerning Sony’s console locking players’ Fortnite accounts from being used on other platforms (primarily the Switch) is commonly considered to be a key contributor leading to Sony’s subsequent policy change.
To see Switch owners robbed of that freedom to mingle with others is disappointing, to say the least. But then again, is it really all that surprising? Fornite enjoys a solid 60 fps on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, a target that the Switch has been unable to reach and a common cause for complaint between the parties involved.
It ultimately remains to be seen how much of an effect the newly-defined boundaries have on player numbers in both divisions, but time will undoubtedly tell. Regardless, in light of the announcement, we want to hear from you, dear reader. Has Epic’s decision dulled any enthusiasm you had for playing Fortnite on Switch, or do you believe this is a change for the better? Let us know in the usual place.
Source: Epic Games