Upcoming co-op shooter Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands will get cross-play across all platforms, Gearbox announced yesterday. That might have seemed like a forgone conclusion in the year 2022, but it marks the first time Borderlands users from PlayStation and Xbox will get to play together.
“Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands will ship on March 25 with full cross play for all platforms at launch, including PlayStation,” Gearbox Entertainment president Randy Pitchford wrote on Twitter last night. “Incredible work from the engineers at Gearbox Software with thanks to our partners at 2k Games and 1st parties, including Sony, for working together on this.”
Like past Borderlands games, the focus of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a co-op campaign where groups of up to four players take down bosses in pursuit of more powerful gear. The missions and gameplay this time around are D&D-inspired, making multiplayer an even bigger part of the experience, so it’s a big deal that the game will allow players from different platforms to matchmake together. And it’s a reminder that Sony has historically been the one dragging its feet on the issue.
This, however, was not the case when Borderlands 3 came out in 2019. Two years after Epic Games accidently made Fortnite temporarily cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One, and one year after Sony officially came out in lukewarm support of the concept, Gearbox’s loot shooter launched without it. When cross-play finally did get added last year, PS4 and PS5 weren’t included, defeating much of the point (you could still matchmake between PC and Xbox). It’s not clear what exactly has changed in the months since, but Pitchford wrote in a follow-up tweet that he now considers full Borderlands 3 cross-play to be “inevitable,” with more information to come later.
In the past, Sony has actually proposed charging companies extra to allow cross-play. That’s what the PlayStation maker originally suggested to Epic Games when it wanted to make Fortnite cross-play, according to court documents revealed last year in Epic v. Apple. “In certain circumstances Epic will have to pay additional revenue to Sony,” Sweeney said of the deal during last year’s trial. “If somebody were primarily playing on PlayStation, but paying on iPhone then this might trigger compensation.”
Years later, cross-play has become the norm for most new online multiplayer games. While there are still notable holdouts—FIFA and Madden remain platform-locked—genre leaders like Call of Duty and Battlefield are now firmly platform agnostic. Even some old games are continuing to get updated with it. Ubisoft announced just last week that 2017 medieval fighter For Honor would finally go cross-play when its Lost Horizons update goes live this week.