New patch suggests Battleborn will soon go free-to-play

2 min read


Battleborn wasn’t the hit that Gearbox and publisher 2K hoped it would be. Trying to take some of the Borderlands Magic and apply it to the MOBA template didn’t work out in Gearbox’s favour – especially when competition in the form of Blizzard’s not-really-similar-but-similar-enough Overwatch gave it a right kicking in the teeth.

A year after its release and Overwatch still commands incredible player numbers and support. On the Pc side of things, it looks like Battleborn has under 100 concurrent players every day. There have been suggestions for nearly a year that the game would – as a last grasp at relevance – go free to play. Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford rubbished these claims last year.

However, a new patch for the game seems to suggest that Battleborn is headed to becoming a freemium title. The extensive patch has added pages and pages of new content including visual flair. You’ll be able to pick up pointless guff like hats, ears and other bits of fluff to make your characters stand out. While that’s just one little sign, a bigger one is the fact that existing players seem to have unlocked a new title within the game: Founder.


Coupled with the new loot boxes, new aesthetics and the Founder Title, the easy assumption is that Battleborn is going to be free to play – and soon.

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Will it be enough to make people care though? Probably not. Evolve was a fun game for a while, but its asymmetrical gameplay usually devolved into a Benny Hill-like chase around the mountains. Players soon lost interest, and the game become free to play to draw more players in. That last ditch attempt failed miserably – and Evolve is now a footnote in the annals of video game history.

The same, I fear, could be Battleborn’s fate.


Last Updated: June 6, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Matthew Figueira

    Hmmm I don’t know if this will go the Evolve route. I feel it has a better chance at surviving and growing a decent player base 🙂

  • Evolve just wasn’t fun at all. 99% of the time you were either running after something, or if on the other side, running away from something. Got bored of it pretty quickly. Any game even remotely similar to Overwatch is going to have to go F2P just to get people actually playing it. Paladins is actually pretty fun, and Battleborn looks like it could be too. But if I need to put down money to buy one of these games, then it’s going be Overwatch, no questions asked.

  • BakedBagel

    Whats battleborn?

    I must have OVER looked it.
    Will WATCH in the future.

  • I enjoyed Battleborn for about an hour… then was done with it.

    You know a game is going to flop when at the media preview event everyone is rather playing other games or just talking to each other rather than continuing to play this huge game that no one else in the world has had a chance at playing yet.

    • Matthew Holliday

      They tried so hard to hype it up.
      You know a games going to flop, when you apply for a limited release beta key, and you actually end up getting one.

  • Gareth Runnalls

    Lets not forget that you had to grind like hell to unlock like, 70% of the characters in the game, and it wasnt worth the grind. I think they are all unlocked now, but havent gone back to check.

  • HvR

    Damn Geoff and his stupid last paragraph robbing me of another great Evolve pun comment moment

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