Battleborn: No more content after Fall Update

Battleborn

Gearbox’s FPS/hobby-grade coop campaign/genre blended, multi-mode competitive e-sports/meta-growth, choice + epic Battleborn heroes game, Battleborn [official site], is being put out to pasture. By that I mean that the shooter has no more planned content on the horizon and creative director, Randy Varnell, is moving to another project but the servers are staying up for the time being.

Varnell announced the news via a post in the Gearbox forums and, to be honest, I think most people with an awareness of the game and its player numbers have been expecting this news for a while, especially after Battleborn going partially free-to-play didn’t seem to boost figures in a meaningful way.

Here’s the meat of Varnell’s post:

“As of this week, there will be no more Battleplans and there is currently no planned content after the Fall Update. Details of any future changes or news will be made on our forums or through social media, so keep your radars on.

“Never fear! Battleborn is here to stay. Nothing is changing with Battleborn, and the servers will be up and active for the foreseeable future. We announced the Fall Update for the game at PAX including some new skins, themed around some of your favorite Borderlands characters! That update will also include some updated title art (more full bar titles!) for the more significant challenges in the game, as well as some additional Finisher Boosts and Taunts. Also, there are minor balance changes in that patch.

“If you’ve been paying attention to recent news from the Gearbox Panel at PAX West, you’ll have heard that many folks at Gearbox are working on a highly anticipated project. Although I’m sad my time on Battleborn is coming to a close, I’m happy to announce that I will play a significant role on this highly anticipated but unannounced game, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing some from me again in the future regarding Gearbox games.”

It goes on to thank the community who stuck with the game and, if you are one of the few still into the game, there’s also a skin code for the hero Deande.

Battleborn itself was a confusing prospect at release. I reviewed it at the time and the conclusion was that “For everything Battleborn does, another game does it better.” I know that the team tinkered and tweaked and added new heroes and new modes and things, but it never seemed to find its way out of being a mishmash of ideas – a Jack of all trades and master of none. I went back in June this year to check out a new Supercharge mode but the wait times for matches I’d need to grind out to get out of the novice queue which had been added to the game were prohibitive: 20 minutes to get together a 5v5 and 16 minutes for 5 versus bots.

Anyway, so. My take on this is that Gearbox took a shot at trying to reinvigorate interest in the game and keep it going with dev support for just over a year but that beyond the Fall Update it’s just not sensible to keep pouring resources into a game with so few players. Keeping the servers going means current players can get a decent chance to tinker with the Fall Update and that, presumably, it can still act as a potential source of revenue until the game fades out to the point where Gearbox decide to switch off the servers completely.

I sometimes wondered how the console figures compared with PC but if the game is no longer being supported I’m guessing they were also pretty dang low. In case you like peering at upsetting charts, here’s Battleborn on SteamCharts. The two green months are the massive winter update (January 2017) and the game going partially free-to-play (June 2017).

11 Comments

  1. Pich says:

    Does a server being shut off make a sound if there isn’t anyone on it?

  2. Morcane says:

    That’s pretty sad, because I actually like the game. :( I’m one of those 10 people still playing from time to time.

  3. deanimate says:

    It was only a matter of time. Battleborn has had less players than Evolve for quite a while and they decided to keep development going with Battleborn instead of Evolve.

    I am biased because I love and still play Evolve. Also pissed off at the idiots who helped to harm the game.

  4. Creeping Death says:

    So… It’s a pretty safe bet that the next game they put out is borderlands, right? I mean there is only so long a studio can go without a successful game and BL is probably guaranteed money.

    Or maybe they’ll decide the time is right for a new Duke Nukem.

    • durrbluh says:

      Is a new Borderlands a sure thing?

      I’d like to see the sales figures on the franchise titles because while I can’t speak for everyone out there, I know that despite being an enthusiastic consumer for the first two games I was certainly alienated by the pricing model for the Pre-Sequel. Not because it was prohibitively expensive, but because I feel that this particular mentality to game development shouldn’t be rewarded.

  5. Suedealien says:

    It’s funny, though, because Battleborn basically had all the elements of a great Borderlands spinoff–great voice acting, fun characters, solid FPS action, irreverent humor. But then they made the campaign super short and tacked on a mediocre pvp version, which is where the bulk of their energy went. I would love to see them get back to their roots and just channel it all into another great coop PvE game.

    • TormDK says:

      Incursion is where it’s at. At the time, it had a unique approach to PvP, unfortunately the issues that were found (like sniping the robot from afar) were not fixed fast enough, and in the end Battleborn is a great game that tried to do too many things at once.

      A re-release with a full focus on Incursion as the only mode would likely attract more players, however we’d need to see more Battleborn released as well, so that will now never happen.

  6. April March says:

    Battlestillborn

  7. Ejia says:

    Battleborn was never the same after Braith stole all its money.

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