Borderlands spin-off Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands will let you play with friends regardless of platform, despite last year’s Borderlands 3 PlayStation crossplay kerfuffle.
Controversial Borderlands and Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford announced the news in an upbeat statement posted to Twitter last night – making for a very different message to the one regarding Borderlands 3 last year.
In May 2021, Pitchford stirred up drama when he said publisher 2K had stepped in to stop crossplay support for PlayStation consoles in a post-launch Borderlands 3 patch.
That detail, also made public via Twitter, came 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.)
The exact reason why 2K told Gearbox to remove PlayStation crossplay was never made clear. Was it because 2K suddenly decided it didn’t want to pay? Or was it because Borderlands 3 crossplay was never originally intended, and Gearbox surprised 2K by adding it in – prompting Sony to suddenly ask for money?
Whatever the case, one year on, all parties seem to have found a solution for Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.
“Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands will ship on 25th March with full crossplay for all platforms at launch, including PlayStation,” Pitchford wrote last night. “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.”
There’s potentially good news for Borderlands 3 crossplay also, which Pitchford suggests is now “inevitable”.
BL3 has supported crossplay for sometime. The future addition of PlayStation to crossplay for BL3 is now what I would consider to be inevitable. More info to come as soon as we have it?
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) March 13, 2022
All of which begs the question – what has changed this year? As crossplay becomes an industry standard, has Sony’s policy quietly changed behind the scenes to aid publishers and developers? Or has 2K simply decided to pay up? Eurogamer has asked 2K and PlayStation for comment.