Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has said PlayStation cross-platform support has been cut from an upcoming Borderlands 3 patch – though without explaining why.
In a tweet sent this afternoon, Pitchford said that while a Borderlands 3 update had been prepared for release “that includes full crossplay support across all platforms”, PlayStation will ultimately not be included.
Pitchford did not detail why, upon submitting the patch for certification, it was then forced to remove crossplay by the game’s publisher 2K. Did Sony suddenly decide to take issue with the game’s long-promised crossplay becoming a reality? Or did Gearbox and/or 2K decide not to play by Sony’s rules? Pitchford has so far chosen not to elaborate.
Of course, numerous other PlayStation games do include crossplay, though as we learned during the recent Epic v Apple trial, PlayStation controversially asks for a cross-platform revenue share – a cut of money made across all platforms – something not done by either Xbox or Nintendo.
So, what’s happened here? Has Sony suddenly changed its stance, or did 2K decide it didn’t want to pay up? And why has Pitchford decided to go public? Typically, we’d expect agreements and disagreements of this nature to play out behind closed doors, though Pitchford seems keen to invoke public speculation in this case.
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
Last summer, the Epic v Apple fight was kicked off after Epic publicly made a stink over Apple’s business practices, and deployed an alternative payment system it expected to cause trouble. After Apple responded, Epic deployed a pre-prepared marketing program to “free Fortnite” – a phrase which was later shouted by fans into the courtroom months later.
Now that PlayStation’s cross-platform business practices are a matter of public record, perhaps Pitchford is keen for a similar response? It’s almost like there’s a new Gearbox game on the horizon to promote!
Eurogamer has contacted PlayStation and 2K for comment.