Amidst a week filled with gaming news, one of the major things that was announced was Fortnite not only coming to mobile devices via iOS and Android but that the title was also going the way of cross-play. Naturally, someone has to ask if this is a good idea.
Not to be a Debbie Downer or Pessimistic Patty, I think Fortnite on smartphones and tablets could be an interesting concept. Much like the appeal of Nintendo’s Switch, being able to pick up your favorite game while on the go is always something that sounds fun.
But where the skepticism comes into play, at least from this writer’s opinion is on cross-play.
Cross-play is something we’ve heard a lot of talk about, but one of the major discussions that takes place when a game announces that it will be cross-play is the balance. And if people fear that PC players have an advantage over Console gamers, then let’s be real…will mobile gamers stand a chance against both?
Now, Nick Chester over at Epic Games has addressed this and detailed that mobile gamers can opt-in to a PC queue while PC gamers will never be able to join a mobile lobby, but that still leaves the question of how will these green mobile gamers compare to those who’ve been playing Fortnite on their consoles for a minute now.
It’s early in terms of development. We don’t even know yet exactly how Fortnite will handle on a phone or tablet. Being able to tap the screen may play a major role in ensuring accuracy and headshots. Or. The design could be that weird, fake joystick-and-button overlay that mimics a controller.
Despite the question of skill and hardware, the positive aspect is that people who are friends but don’t share a similar system will be able to still play together. You PC pals may have to hard carry your iPhone buddies, but hey! You’ll be in the game together.
And what’s even better is that it will allow for cross-progression. Which I feel needs to be embraced by all games that release across multiple platforms!
So, at the end of the day, Fortnite releasing to mobile is a good thing. On Epic Games’ side of things, that’s potentially millions of more fans and newcomers joining the franchise. From the players’ perspective, it’s an honest chance to play with friends you’ve had to leave behind when choosing your side of the console wars or rising above as part of the PC master race.
However, cross-play and cross-progression sounds nifty but depending on how the game controls, as well as the general gap in skill, could be a major factor weighing Fortnite down.
If you are one of the people eager to get your hands on the mobile version of the game, you can sign up starting March 12th to try and get a spot in the beta.
Fortnite will be made available to iOS users first, then Andriod a few months afterward.