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Battleborn, the stumbling block of Borderlands parents: keys to their failure

Battleborn, the stumbling block of Borderlands parents: keys to their failure

Gearbox Software shut down the Battleborn servers on January 31, 2021. We reviewed the keys to the Borderlands parents’ stumble.

Battleborn is the chronicle of an announced closure. From the beginning it had everything against it, from coinciding with the launch of a colossus like Overwatch to the daring of a fusion of genres that did not convince critics and public. Gearbox Software was aware of its problems, and in just 3 years we knew the end of its journey.

On January 31, 2021 we said goodbye forever. Battleborn’s servers have been shut down, preventing any of its modes from continuing to play. That is, your copy has been useless since this February 1. What has brought you to this point?

“Many ideas remain in no man’s land”

That phrase accompanied the conclusions of the Reviews that we offered a little less than five years ago in this house, where it obtained a rating of 7.5 out of 10. During the text we alluded to that “the fate of the game” was left in the hands of the developers and of the community. “Battleborn is a game with a unique playable proposal, and it is precisely this attempt to find something different that this time has played a trick on it,” we said.

Battleborn keys failure shutdown gearbox servers

On horseback of the pure first-person shooter and the MOBA, we highlighted the inclusion of the Raid Mode, its “highlight”. It consisted of five against five battles in which we had the objective of destroying the two enemy guardians. In it we had all the ingredients that we could expect from any aspiring League of Legends worth its salt, such as the flow of minions, the classic lines and the need to play with the stage to make a dent in the rival territory.

Before reaching the peak of its offering, the title proposed a small campaign mode that served as training for the unusual mechanics of this fusion. We classed this piece of content as “uninspired” in missions, but “very satisfying” when faced with the final boss repertoire. Of course, it was “short” and “somewhat monotonous.”

Battleborn keys failure shutdown gearbox servers

“Generally speaking, and apart from that heavy progression system, the games are entertaining, the final bosses of the campaign are a delight and the Raid Mode is the best success of the title. There are simply many ideas that could have been very good and they remain in no man’s land, like the spirit of the game ”, we concluded.

The keys to its failure

The how and when are relevant to the launch of a title that aspires to fight for a slice of the multiplayer market. In 2016, Battleborn had to fight head-to-head against a colossus like Overwatch, who were separated by just weeks between releases. As if that weren’t enough, Blizzard opted for a business model with noticeable differences from Gearbox.

Battleborn keys failure shutdown gearbox servers

At a time when the service game originated in massive terms, the latter continued to use a model based on paid season passes. For a price of 19.99 euros, you could access five post-launch add-on packages, including previously unreleased story missions. Although the first characters were free, over the months you lost content if you paid that extra. Quite the opposite of what was seen in Overwatch, in which the added maps, heroes and events came for the enjoyment of the entire community: no one was left behind. This trend (or philosophy, you could say) was the dominant one to this day in the big names on the scene, such as Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Apex Legends and Rainbow Six: Siege, among others.

However, the CEO of Gearbox has always shown to hold the game in high regard. Randy Pitchford publicly acknowledged last year that Battleborn was “the spearhead” of hero shooter, and that the success of subsequent games is due “to the power of that idea.” Balls out that recall the statements of those responsible for Lawbreakers, who blamed the press and having coincided with PUBG for the poor results they reaped.

Battleborn keys failure shutdown gearbox servers

According to data from Steamcharts, the highest peak of concurrent players on the PC version on Steam reached 12,070 users, just the month of its launch. Since then, the curve has been descending to the peak of 429 during December 2016, just seven months after its arrival. As of January 2018, the statistics were not very encouraging, since at no time did he exceed 200 concurrent players. We do not know the data on PS4 and Xbox One, the other two platforms on which it arrived. Pitchford said in July 2020 that the game had a user base of “3 million”.

The last content update you received was in October 2017, focusing on the Borderlands saga. Since then, the team has ceased active support for enhancements and additions, except for critical bugs.

Reference: Steamcharts

About author

Chris Watson is a gaming expert and writer. He has loved video games since childhood and has been writing about them for over 15 years. Chris has worked for major gaming magazines where he reviewed new games and wrote strategy guides. He started his own gaming website to share insider tips and in-depth commentary about his favorite games. When he's not gaming or writing, Chris enjoys travel and hiking. His passion is helping other gamers master new games.

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