Free-to-play Nintendo Switch games, such as the massively popular Battle Royale shooter Fortnite, will not require a Nintendo Switch Online membership once the service launches in September.
Nintendo Switch Online is a long-delayed subscription service that was supposed to launch alongside the hybrid console in March 2017. It is finally on its way, but according to eagle-eyed gamers, the Nintendo Switch Online launch will not affect free-to-play games.
Nintendo Switch Online Not Needed For 'Fortnite'
Online play for Nintendo Switch games is currently free of charge, but when Nintendo Switch Online launches next month, players will need to subscribe to the service to gain access.
"From the full launch of the Nintendo Switch Online membership service in 2018, online play requires a paid membership," reads the Nintendo eShop fine print in Nintendo Switch games with online components.
However, as discovered by ResetEra forum users, free-to-play games for the Nintendo Switch do not carry the disclaimer. The games which do not have the requirement for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to continue online play are the following:
- Dawn of the Breakers
- Fallout Shelter
- Galak-Z: Variant S
- Kitten Squad
- Pinball FX3
- Pokémon Quest
- The Pinball Arcade
- Zaccaria Pinball
All of the titles above are free-to-play, so it appears that Nintendo will not be limiting online play for such games even when Nintendo Switch Online rolls out.
Nintendo has not yet confirmed the move, which will mimic Sony's decision to not require a PlayStation Plus subscription for players who want to enjoy free-to-play games on the PlayStation 4. Only Microsoft will require an Xbox Live membership for free-to-play games on the Xbox One.
There is also the chance that Nintendo has simply not yet added the disclaimer to the free-to-play games, though that is unlikely.
Nintendo Switch Online: Here's What We Know About It
After over a year of waiting, Nintendo Switch owners will finally be able to sign up for a Nintendo Switch Online membership starting September. Once activated, the subscription will provide access to online play, the voice chat app and online lobby, free game downloads per month, and exclusive Nintendo deals.
The Nintendo Switch Online price has been confirmed to only be $19.99 per year, $7.99 for three months, or $3.99 per month. There will also be a family membership option that will allow up to eight Nintendo account holders to access the service on difference devices for only $34.99 per year.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime also described Nintendo Switch Online as the Virtual Console successor. A subscription to the service will offer access to a collection of classic NES games that will initially contain 20 titles, including The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Dr. Mario, Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, Tennis, and Balloon Fight.