Earlier this week, after a Borderlands 3 leak suggested that the game would be an Epic Games store exclusive, developer Gearboxís CEO, Randy Pitchford, refused to confirm where his new title would launch.

What he did say, however, was that heís generally on board with short exclusivity periods, but that itís the gameís publisher, 2K, rather than anyone at Gearbox, that decides things like distribution, price, and platform partnerships. Itís looking increasingly like thatís damage control of Pitchford, but it also seems that thatís not really working.

Last night, Pitchford tweeted again, this time asking players what part of his last tweet they didnít understand. Despite having made it clear that heís not in any control of the gameís sales Ė exclusivity or not Ė it would seem that fans of the series still arenít particularly impressed, and theyíve been making their feelings known directly to Pitchford himself under that original thread (via PC Gamer).

Pitchford had previously said that ďIím happy to shop in different storesĒ, that heís bought games from Epic, and that ďto me, exclusives are fine when they come with advantages and when they are short Ė say, six monthsĒ Ė he adds a smiley face at this point.

He concludes by pointing to Epicís support for cross-platform play: ď2Kís 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 Epicís leadership with cross platform support is helpful to our interests there.Ē

Those first tweets came after the official Borderlands twitter account seemed to release some release info early. They were quickly deleted, but preserved through the magic of the internet: one suggests that Borderlands 3 will release on September 13, while another included a trailer that was branded with Epic Games store logos. Steamís were notably absent.

A 2K spokesperson tells us ďWe have nothing to announce at this time, but will have more to share about Borderlands 3 on April 3.Ē

All told, itís looking damn-near certain at this point that Borderlands 3 will come to the Epic Store and may well be exclusive there Ė at least for a while (say perhaps, six months). We canít rule out a Steam release at some point in the future, and a long-term exclusive for a game as big as Borderlands 3 would be a hell of a coup for Epic. But then, the Fortnite developer has hardly been shy about pursuing just such a strategy.

Broadly, the community has responded overwhelmingly negatively to other Epic store exclusivity agreements, from Metro Exodus to Satisfactory and Phoenix Point. Borderlands 3 would likely face a similar backlash. The Borderlands 3 release date has been a long time coming, and it looks like the end is finally in sight. Just be prepared for the chance it might not hit Steam.