Borderlands 3 will have cosmetic microtransactions, but not the bad kind [updated]

A bit of a fuss has kicked up after last night’s Borderlands 3 gameplay reveal event, in which Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford quite unequivocally stated that the game “won’t have microtransactions”. It does, though. Game Informer followed up on this statement and got a clarification that you will actually be able to buy some cosmetic in-game items with small payments, minuscule charges, or, as they’re most commonly known, microtransactions.

That sent Pitchford off the deep end on Twitter. Now, there’s an awful lot of hubris that seems to surround Pitchford, who has led the company through a number of controversies like the whole Aliens: Colonial Marines debacle, his weird decision to do magic tricks for Borderlands 3’s announcement event, or making the game exclusive to the Epic Game Store for six month, but in this instance it seems to be a case of miscommunication and then an outpouring of basically every emotion humanly possible.


I’ll save you the 18 tweet ramble and just give you one or two key ones:

Further to that, Gearbox’s Paul Sage said, “We’re selling cosmetic items, but we’re not going to nickel and dime players. DLC will come down the line, but the game won’t have anything excessive.” However, Pitchford has gone on to clarify that this isn’t intended for launch.

Update: 2K have responded to our request for more details and say the following:

“Players will have the option to purchase certain cosmetic items like character, vehicle, and weapon skins, but none of these purchases would be considered pay-to-win or impacting on the gameplay, like weapons or actual gear.“

So, Borderlands 3 will end up with microtransactions to buy in-game cosmetic items, but it will not have loot boxes for those items, the old Golden Keys system will not be twisted into making money, there won’t be gameplay effects and there won’t be a premium currency.

We’ve asked 2K for clarity on the actual situation as it will stand on day one, but by and large it feels like Borderlands 3 is sticking to the kinds of DLC that were the standard just four or five years ago.

Source: Game Informer, Randy Pitchford

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