According to Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox Software, Borderlands 3 is getting full crossplay support on all platforms soon. Well, sorta. The “publisher” (in this case, 2K Games) had Gearbox pull crossplay from PlayStation platforms during certification. So, what exactly does that mean, and who here is to blame? While fans may be directing their ire towards Sony, the situation is a bit more nuanced than the company simply saying no to crossplay in Borderlands 3.
Borderlands 3 will have crossplay on every platform except PlayStation.
Due to a decision from their publisher, 2K Games, Gearbox had to pull crossplay from Sony’s consoles before sending the upcoming patch up for certification. While this may appear to be a case of Sony rejecting crossplay on their PlayStation platforms, there’s a little more to the story than that.
Thanks to the ongoing Epic V. Apple lawsuit, we learned that Sony instituted a policy in 2019 that required publishers and developers to share some of their profits with Sony if they enabled crossplay on PlayStation platforms. The idea is simple: Sony wants to make up for what they believe to be lost revenue from fans turning to other platforms to play with their friends, since those players are no longer making purchases within the PlayStation ecosystem.
Good news or bad news first? Good News: An update for Borderlands 3 has been prepared for release that includes full crossplay support across all platforms. Bad News: For certification, we have been required by the publisher to remove crossplay support for PlayStation consoles.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) May 27, 2021
I’m not here to say whether I agree or disagree with that policy, but 2K is clearly not a fan. Rather than pay Sony’s tithe, 2K Games has decided to support crossplay in Borderlands 3 for every platform other than Sony’s. Could crossplay come to Borderlands 3 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in the future? Maybe, but it seems Sony’s revenue policy would either need to be revised or removed before 2K gives Gearbox the go-ahead.
So, if you’re still playing Borderlands 3 and want to play with your friends on other platforms you can do so here soon, so long as they don’t play the over-the-top looter shooter on a PlayStation. It’s not the best of news, but it’s something.