Hi, guys. As promised, here's an update on the situation:
2K Games and 1C Company have updated the PC versions of Borderlands 2 that are purchased from both retail locations and via digital distribution in Russia, the Baltic states, and CIS territories. Consumers in these countries will now receive a bundle that contains both the 1C Russian language version of Borderlands 2, as well as the 2K Games worldwide (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese) version of the game. This gives consumers in these countries the widest range of options to both choose their preferred language and play with their friends across the world.
Though the 1C and 2K versions do not support cross-version play, consumers can install both versions and have the option to play each. Additionally, Borderlands 2 Season Pass and DLC content purchased in these territories will contain this bundled format content. We thank customers for their feedback as we continue to work to provide the best products we can offer worldwide.
TL;DR - 2K and 1C are now giving us both versions (Russian & Worldwide), but cross version support between these two still gets it in the ass, so choose your poison.
Via the most excellent Rock Paper Shotgun
Something seems to have gone terribly amiss with the Russian version of Borderlands 2. For reasons that are so far unknown, 2K have released a version of game that’s Russian language only, and only playable with others with the same version. And they’ve released it to, er, the former USSR.
People living in, say, Estonia, aren’t too impressed just now. Not just because declaring them still part of Russia does somewhat ignore a couple of moments in history, but because only 10% of the country speaks Russian. The same is true for the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Baltic states, who are more than a little unimpressed at the peculiarity. Then of course there’s people who actually are in Russia, locked down to not being able to play with friends from the rest of the world. The game, distributed through Steam, doesn’t seem to want to play nicely with others.
Even more peculiar, the game is apparently much cheaper to buy if you’re in Russia, while players in Lithuania and Estonia are having to pay the full price, while still getting a version of the game designed for a country they don’t live in. CIS/Baltic/Russian readers are informing us that this was not made known when people were pre-ordering the game, meaning they’ve been surprised by an extremely locked down version of the game, often in a language they don’t speak. We’re also hearing rumours that pre-purchased season passes are now incompatible with the RU release.
“2K Games and 1C are aware that digital distribution pages for the Russian, CIS and Baltic States versions of Borderlands 2 contained incorrect information regarding the language and cross territory compatibility support. We apologize that this information was incorrect during the pre-sale and pre-order period for these territories. We are working with our partners to update those pages, and offer any customers who pre-ordered or pre-purchased the game the opportunity to cancel their order and receive a refund.
Additionally, we are working with our product development teams to investigate potential support for additional languages and options for our customers in these territories. While this was and is not possible for launch, we will provide an update this week on our progress.”
Which raises a few issues. Firstly, while people are certainly annoyed that the pre-order information was somewhat lacking, that’s perhaps not the issue they were hoping to see corrected. Also, it seems a little peculiar that it was not possible to include other languages, since they were obviously all in place for non-Russian versions of the game. But most of all, it doesn’t address the rather larger question: why? Why lock down a region in the first place? And why are former Soviet nations being included in this? The statement doesn’t suggest that this issue is being taken into account at all.
Another reader informs us they received a reply from 2K’s support explaining that this is an issue that affects those with a Russian IP. If that is such an inexact method, it doesn’t seem appropriate to be using it at all.
We’ve contacted 2K to try to find some answers to what’s going on. Meanwhile, if you’re affected,the Reddit thread begins with a method you can use to access the UK version of the game.
TL;DR, people in Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the CIS (Ukraine, the 'stans, etc.), and Russia (the biggest fucking country in the world) cannot play with bros beyond their borders because Fuck You That's Why. Topping things off, we're ALL getting the Russian language only version, and that means I can only play with assholes in my immediate vicinity. The Baltic States aren't best pleased, because most of them don't even speak Russian (nor do they want to for historical reasons too numerous to detail here).
So thanks, Gabe, for letting this shit past muster. After all that boasting about the Eastern European market, you go and let 2K pull a dick move, perpetuating and supporting the opinion of those companies that whine about Eastern European piracy and won't bother to localize and release the game for months because of said piracy, and then everyone acts surprised that they've just gone and pirated the game already by the time you do.
Or maybe they'll all sort things out and things will be rosy. Whatcha think, Vlad?
Rockin'. Anyway, you may now commence Soviet puns.