Gearbox Software’s Battleborn game was best described as an ambitious project that did well to fuse elements of a hero shooter and MOBA-inspired mechanics. It was a title that did well to signify a major departure from the studio’s Borderlands series. Unfortunately, when the game launched on PS4, Windows PC, and Xbox One in May 2016, it met rather mixed reviews. This inevitably led up to its player base to quickly dwindle and the developer eventually announced in November 2019, that the game’s servers were being permanently shutdown.
Fast forward to the new year, and the servers are officially set to go offline on the 25th of January. This will essentially make the game completely unplayable. However, despite the fact that fans have had a long time to prepare for this inevitability, it still doesn’t take the sting away. After all, it was quite the promising game. And this rather abrupt and disappointing end to the game, has even led to one Battleborn developer describing the shutdown as “heartbreaking”.
Aaron Linde, the game’s lead writer, spoke about his sadness for the game’s demise in a long Twitter thread. He described his remorse about the whole situation, as all the work put into the game will essentially disappear. And it will be “like the game never existed at all.” However, he did end the thread on a soft note, stating that working on the game’s world was “the best experience.”
Why Did The Game Fail?
From the get-go, Gearbox’s ambitious game suffered from low server populations and confusion over what exactly it was. However, the reason for its downfall can be attributed to the fact that it launched just prior to the much more successful Overwatch. At the time of release, Overwatch offered a much more straightforward hero shooter. And it also came with a much bigger marketing budget. In other words, if the developer had launched Battleborn before the gaming community was introduced to Overwatch, it may have enjoyed the same level of popularity and would still be active.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and it didn’t. It was just one of those games that got knocked out of the ring. And not because of any sort of flaw or problem, but because it just unluckily debuted at the wrong time. In fact, at the time even Gearbox Software’s president stated that the game was fairly successful at launch. But it just simply faltered due to comparison.
Can I Still Play The Game Before Its Shutdown?
Yes. Battleborn is set to meet its demise in just a few weeks. But will still be playable until January 25. So, those who may be interested or curious about the title, can still take action. As there is still time left to play it while you can. The problem with that though is that the game has also been removed from digital stores. As such, players would need to acquire a physical copy if they wish to play the game.
The only good news coming out of Gearbox Software at present is that they are still supporting Borderlands 3. So, for those who are fans of that game, can at least take a small consolation in that. Moreover, there are more Borderlands updates set to arrive in the coming months such as; cross-play support and a new DLC. At the very least, fans of Gearbox Software will still have something new to look forward to.
Another piece of good news is in regard to Aaron Linde. As, while he may be terribly disappointed that Battleborn is almost over, he is now working as the lead narrative designer at 343 Industries. This means he is busy working on one of 2021’s most highly anticipated games, Halo Infinite. So, if you were a fan of Battleborn, you can still look forward to the upcoming Halo game, when it launches this fall.
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