Borderlands 3 crossplay support is coming soon but there’s one platform that won’t be getting it: PlayStation. Gearbox Software, the developers of Borderlands announced that it had to be removed.
Gearbox revealed it was prepared to release “full crossplay support across all platforms” but publisher 2K Games required that the feature be removed for PlayStation consoles. So while Xbox, PC and possibly Stadia players will soon be able to party together on Pandora, Eden-6, Promethea and Athenas it won’t be with any of their pals on PlayStation.
It’s being widely assumed that this has to do with Sony’s historical disdain for crossplay. During the Epic v. Apple trial, it was revealed that Sony maintains a special agreement with Fortnite developer Epic Games in which they receive additional fees to enable crossplay on PlayStation. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney testified that Sony is the only platform holder that requires this kind of compensation.
It stands to reason that Sony would seek a similar deal with 2K Games to allow for Borderlands 3 crossplay. The company’s dislike of crossplay has to do with financial reasons. The reasoning goes that Sony doesn’t get a cut on microtransactions on other platforms, and encourages people to get on PlayStation if they want to cultivate online friendships with other PlayStation users.
In the past, Sony actively blocked crossplay for popular games like Rocket League and Minecraft, despite Microsoft and Nintendo enabling it for Xbox and Switch. This was not a good look for the company, moreso given that crossplay between PlayStation and Xbox was “accidentally” enabled on Fortnite in 2017.
Since then, Sony has appeared to gradually moderate its position, though clearly it seems that their receptiveness to crossplay comes with some negotiation caveats. Still, it was 2K Games that made the request to disable PlayStation crossplay, so it could be that the publisher has no interest in negotiating with Sony, not for any kind of payment like Epic pays.