After a seven year wait, Gearbox Software finally released Borderlands 3 on Friday.
A lot has changed since Borderlands 2’s release in 2012. Significantly, the walls that have long separated console and PC ecosystems have started to crumble. Fortnite players on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch all face off against each other in a multi-platform battle royale. A ball bounced from a Switch Rocket League arena hits the net with a colorful explosion on PS4. And, next month, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be the first game in the long-running series to bring fast-paced tactical shooty-shoots to PC and console players at the same damn time.
So, does Borderlands 3 — which partnered with industry cross-play leader, Epic, for timed PC exclusivity — have cross-play?
Does Borderlands 3 Have Cross-Play?
The short answer is: no.
At launch last week, Borderlands 3 did not provide the option for Vault Hunters on PC, PS4 and Xbox One to loot and shoot together. While Gearbox Software have modernized the series in some important ways — the abilities to fast travel and recover lost loot come to mind — it hasn’t caught up to the Fortnites and Calls of Duty of the world just yet.
The longer answer, though, is: not yet.
Back in July, Gearbox Software President, CEO, and crisis-causer-in-chief Randy Pitchford, took to Twitter to temper expectations about any kind of cross-functionality at launch.
“Some folks may be speculating that this thing tomorrow may be about cross play,” he tweeted, in reference to a tweet from the official Borderlands 3 Twitter account promising an upcoming “Celebration of Togetherness,” which, initially, was widely interpreted as a hint at upcoming information about cross-play.
“Tomorrow’s thing is awesome, but *not* about cross-play. But, Good News: We are committed to supporting cross-play for Borderlands 3 with our partners as soon as practicable after launch. #talklater.”
He added, “To be clear, there will not be any cross-play functionality in Borderlands 3 at launch as we work closely with our partners to create a positive cross-play experience as soon as practicable. We are committed to cross-play on as many platforms as possible.”
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Despite a barrage of requests on Twitter from users hungering for the functionality, Pitchford hasn’t said anything more about adding cross-play since the game’s launch. However, Pitchford has said that all decisions about cross-functionality are made by the game’s publisher 2K, not Gearbox.
“For what it’s worth,” he tweeted back in April, “2K’s decisions aside, myself and the team at Gearbox have a very keen interest in cross-platform play. We believe multi-platform support is a pre-requisite and Epic’s leadership with cross platform support is helpful to our interests there.”
In the past, Sony has been the wrench in the cross-play works. But, with more and more games enabling cross-functionality — and with Borderlands 3 looking to be a hit — it’s incredibly likely that we’ll see cross-play in the near future. Whether that functionality will come before or after Borderlands 3 comes to Steam in April 2020 remains to be seen.