In a surprise move, Nintendo is letting "Fortnite" players continue to play online on the Nintendo Switch — even though Nintendo's new online service specifically locks away online play.
- Nintendo's about to launch its first ever paid online service, Nintendo Switch Online, for $20/year.
- The new service is required to play various Switch games online, including "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" and "Splatoon 2."
- "Fortnite" is apparently excluded — a major exception to a huge shift in playing Nintendo games online.
Nintendo's upcoming online service forces Switch owners to pay $20/year to play games online.
Enjoy playing "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" online for free? How about "Splatoon 2?" Enjoy it while you can: When Nintendo Switch Online launches on September 18, those games will no longer work online without a paid account.
There is, however, one major exception: "Fortnite."
That's right — the free-to-play smash-hit "Battle Royale" game won't require the paid online service on the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo announced as much quietly, in an FAQ that CNET discovered on Friday — it specifically calls out "Fortnite" as an exception to Nintendo's new paid online service requirement.
No other games are included as exceptions, which leaves open some interesting questions: For starters, what other types of games will be able to circumvent the paid service? Nintendo isn't saying — we asked, but haven't heard back as of publishing.
So far, it looks like the vast majority of games with online components will require the Nintendo Switch Online paid service.
As previously mentioned, Nintendo's own "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" and "Splatoon 2" will both require the paid service. Additionally, third-party games like the upcoming "Diablo 3" will apparently require the service. "Fortnite" appears to be an exception because you don't have to pay to play it — it could be a tough sell to charge Nintendo Switch owners a fee to play a free-to-play game. Assuredly, it doesn't hurt that "Fortnite" continues to be the biggest game in the world right now.
The red-hot blockbuster "Fortnite" finally arrived on Nintendo's Switch back in June, nearly a full year after the game launched on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
It was a peanut butter and chocolate-esque pairing: The explosively popular "Fortnite" with the explosively popular Nintendo Switch console. The game is even playable across platforms — Switch players can join up with friends on Xbox One, PC, Mac, and even smartphones (only the PlayStation 4 is excluded).
Even without paying for Nintendo Switch Online, all Switch owners can access a handful of online services through their consoles. You can buy digital games on Nintendo's eShop storefront, maintain a list of online friends, share in-game images and video to social media, and a handful of other stuff. Apparently we can add "play 'Fortnite' online" to that list as well.