Borderlands 3 Xbox, Windows, Stadia, and Mac console gamers will soon be able to band together across multiple platforms with an upcoming cross-play update. But players on PS4 and PS5 will be excluded from this group and will be forced to play only with other users on the PlayStation Network.
Gearbox co-founder and CEO Randy Pitchford discussed the situation in a tweet Thursday morning, saying that “an update for Borderlands 3 has been prepared for release which includes full cross-play support on all platforms “but that” for certification we have been required by the publisher [presumably Take Two] to remove cross play support for PlayStation consoles. “
Sony, you may remember, consistently blocked cross-platform capabilities on PlayStation consoles for years before finally opening its walled garden to cross-platform gaming in late 2018. Even after that, however, some developers have publicly gone accused Sony of “playing favorites” regarding which specific games were allowed to use the feature.
“When we shot [cross-play] on … we wanted to make sure we had thought of all the different ramifications of cross play, cross buy and cross progress, “Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, told Game Informer in early 2019 . ” These are all three very low key aspects of what cross play is, and there are decisions you make to source these different pieces only if you do it quickly and hastily and [it’s] the wrong decision, you can get in a corner very quickly, and that impedes scalability over time and the ability to bring people in in a safe and secure manner. “
More recently, in the Epic Games vs. Apple test, Epic revealed the existence of a “multiplatform revenue sharing” agreement for “partners” who publish such games on PlayStation. A slide shared during trial presents a complicated formula to calculate this revenue split amount in months when the PS4 share in the overall monthly revenue of a game is less than 85% of the PS4 share in the overall monthly game time for that same Game.
“In certain circumstances, Epic will have to pay additional revenue to Sony,” Epic’s Tim Sweeney said during testimony at trial this month. “If someone played primarily on PlayStation but paid on iPhone, that could trigger compensation.”
This revenue-sharing policy, dated August 2019 in court documents, could be behind Take-Two’s apparent decision to let PlayStation gamers out. Borderlands 3 cross play. Representatives for Take-Two and Sony were not immediately available to respond to a request for comment from Ars Technica, but we’ll update this article if we have a response.
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