Gearbox Software’s 2016 flop of an FPS Battleborn now has a clear path to its death. Publishers 2K announced plans to shut down the multi-hyphenate hero shooter’s servers in January 2021, rendering the game fully unplayable – singleplayer and all. Battleborn’s competitive multiplayer side went free-to-play in June 2017 but the game is now barely played. This is not surprising. You can still download it and have a go, if you are curious about what Gearbox were up to before Borderlands 3.
“Battleborn has been removed from digital storefronts, and we are now in the process of gradually sunsetting the game to focus our efforts and resources on other projects,” the announcement says. They plan to stop selling the ‘Platinum’ microtransaction currency on February 24th, 2020 then finally shut down the servers and kill the game in in January 2021. All modes will become unplayable.
“We’re extremely proud of the work that went into the game, and want to extend our deep appreciation to all the fans for their support,” the game’s Twitter said, less clinically.
Battleborn ended updates in 2017 and Steam data shows it currently struggles to get a dozen PC players online at any time so I suppose the shutdown shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, or affect many people. Especially as it’s over one year away. It still sucks that it’s going away for the few remaining players, and for people in future years who might remember it fondly and want to fire it up again. Just another game due to die forever because publishers are so protective of servers for games and series they likely won’t even touch again.
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford once tried to sum up Battleborn in a vaguely-infamous tweet (infamous between Pip and me, at least) by saying “Battleborn is: FPS; hobby-grade coop campaign; genre-blended, multi-mode competitive e-sports; meta-growth, choice + epic Battleborn Heroes!” That’s part of the game’s problem. As dear Pip said in our Battleborn review, “For everything Battleborn does, another game does it better.”
If you fancy giving Battleborn a look, you still can. While 2K say they’ve removed it from stores and they have indeed disabled the download buttons on Battleborn’s Steam page for newcomers, you can click this link to jumpstart the installation process. I did that myself just now and had a quick go of the prologue mission. It’s very Gearbox.