Gearbox Software’s anticipated co-op shooter Borderlands 3 is set to launch Sept.13, giving multiplayer fans some PvE action. However, it’s also raised some questions about how players will be able to partner up. Namely, does Borderlands 3 support cross-play, or do friends on different platforms have to split up the party?
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford recently gave us an answer that’s not exactly what we wanted to hear, but not the worst-case scenario, either.
On July 12, the Borderlands 3 Twitter account announced a live stream, called Celebration of Togetherness scheduled to air July 16. Twitter users immediately began replying to ask if cross-play was getting announced, believing that the title of the stream hinted at that possibility. A few days later, the question started coming up again when the account posted a link to the live stream, and Pitchford stepped in to quell the rumors.
To keep viewers from getting upset when their theory didn’t pan out, Pitchford replied shortly afterward to explain the stream wasn’t about cross-play. He clarified that Borderlands 3 won’t have cross-play at launch, but that players shouldn’t rule out the possibility entirely. According to Pitchford, Gearbox wants to add cross-play to the game at a later date and is working with platform holders to get cross-play into the game as soon as they can.
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.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) July 15, 2019
Pitchford also said the developers want to enable cross-play “on as many platforms as possible.” This statement raises the possibility that it may not be available on all platforms, even when it does arrive. That may be about Sony, which has historically been more resistant to cross-play than other platform holders. However, it’s not entirely closed off to the idea, with Dauntless recently launching with cross-play on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
So it’s not clear when we’ll see cross-play for Borderlands 3, or if we’ll necessarily see it at all. All we know is that it won’t be there at launch, but we expect to be able to cross the console boundary in the future.