After being blocked for reasons unknown.
Borderlands 3 crossplay will be added to the game’s PlayStation 4 and 5 versions “in the future”, publisher 2K Games has said – marking a U-turn on last year’s kerfuffle which saw the game’s PlayStation crossplay blocked.
There’s no exact date for when PlayStation crossplay will now be switched on, though 2K has today confirmed the move will indeed happen – letting players team up across Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Mac, Stadia and PC via Steam or Epic Games Store.
2K did not explain why the U-turn was happening now, or what had happened last year.
Today’s news follows the announcement two days ago that upcoming Borderlands spin-off Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands would also feature full PlayStation crossplay.
“Incredible work from the engineers at Gearbox Software with thanks to our partners at 2K Games and first parties, including Sony, for working together on this,” controversial Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford said on Twitter at the time.
The post came in stark contrast to Pitchford’s post from May 2021, when he stated that Gearbox had been “required by the publisher to remove crossplay support for PlayStation consoles”.
No further explanation was given and it remained unclear whether the block had come entirely from 2K, or if PlayStation had forced 2K to make the change – which in turn then forced Gearbox to cooperate.
Pitchford’s comment last year was intriguingly timed, however – just weeks after PlayStation’s internal and previously confidential cross-platform revenue share policy was also made public, as part of the Epic vs. Apple trial.
In short, Sony’s policy could require publishers – like Gearbox’s 2K – to pay PlayStation a cut of proceeds from all platforms in return for PlayStation crossplay being switched on. (It’s worth noting there are various conditions on which games/what fees qualify, but also that this is not a policy also operated by either Nintendo or Xbox.)
As I wrote earlier this week, these developments beg the question: what has changed this year? As crossplay becomes an industry standard, has Sony’s policy quietly relaxed behind the scenes to aid publishers and developers? Or has 2K simply decided to pay up?
Eurogamer asked 2K and PlayStation for comment earlier this week but did not hear back.
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