Nintendo has chosen wisely in this regard (for a change), it seems.
When the Nintendo Switch Online service launches next month, it will mark the first time ever that online play on a Nintendo console has been gated behind a paid subscription ever. While Sony and Microsoft have been gating online play behind a paywall for years now, this is a new frontier for Nintendo. As such, a lot of questions remain.
One of those questions is one about how free to play games will be handled- you see, on Xbox, Microsoft necessitates an Xbox Live subscription even to play free to play games online. On PlayStation, free to play games like Fortnite can be played online without even a PS Plus subscription. How will Nintendo choose to implement this? Whatever they choose would become the “standard” for the industry by sheer force of majority, right?
Well, many will be happy to know that Nintendo is apparently following in PlayStation’s footsteps in this regard. As posters on ResetEra have unearthed, games that will need a paywall to be played online (such as Minecraft) have received that notice on their eShop pages- which doesn’t include any of the free to play games on the system, such as Paladins or Fortnite. So if you have a Switch, you can play Fortnite without needing to subscribe to Nintendo’s service. Joy.