Borderlands dev announces shutdown of MOBA shooter Battleborn

Battleborn, the ill-fated 2016 shooter from Gearbox Software, will be officially terminated in early 2021. The news was confirmed by publisher 2K Games with Battleborn no longer available for sale on digital storefronts across all platforms including PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Both 2K and Gearbox are looking to move on and reallocate time and resources elsewhere, their once promising online FPS officially in sunset mode. Although Battleborn’s premium “Platinum” in game currency can still be purchased, it will also be removed from sale but at a later date on Feburary 24th, 2020.

Platinum can be used until the servers go offline in 2021. However, once Battleborn has been deactivated, there will be no way of accessing the game at all with 2K and Gearbox unlikely to create an offline version or release a build fans can run on private servers.

It’s a shame to see Battleborn sputter out this way though, in truth, the writing was on the wall for a long time. Like, as soon as the game launched.

Having launched in May 2016, Battleborn arrived on the same month as Blizzard’s mega popular rival shooter, Overwatch. Although its popularity has waned over the years, the hype surrounding Overwatch meant that it absolutely steamrolled Battleborn right out of the gate.

Comparing the two side by side wasn’t entirely fair, however. Aside from sharing similar toonish aesthetics, Battleborn had made an earnest attempt to mutate the MOBA template while Overwatch was a more of a straightforward competitive shooter. It didn’t help that Blizzard timed its beta tests to coincide with Battleborn’s launch.

The game had problems of its own, however. Scoring a 6/10 in our review at launch, Battleborn offered a unique spin on the shooter genre with a distinct cast of playable characters yet suffered from a dull co-op mode, poor map design, and its unreasonable gating of content.

A quick look at the game’s performance over at Steam Charts underlines how much of flop the game sadly turned out to be. Following its launch in May, the average number of players dropped sharply by 77% in June. Throughout 2019 the peak player count has yet to surpass 100.

Source: 2K Games

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Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualSense at this point.