Battleborn, the doomed first person MOBA from Borderlands developer Gearbox Software, is preparing to shut down for good. This will affect all version of the game including PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
At the end of January, Battleborn will exhale that grim final breath as Gearbox yank the plug on its servers. We’ve known about this for quite some time now though it’s worth bringing to light for those who still want a chance to experience Battleborn before the game is erased completely.
After January 25th, 2021, those who attempt to boot up Battleborn will be denied access – that even includes the campaign mode which could be played in singleplayer. In February 2020, Gearbox removed “Platinum” (Battleborn’s premium currency) from sale though the game had been in decline long since then.
When we reviewed Battleborn almost half a decade ago, Dave wasn’t particularly scathing of the game, awarding it a respectable 6 out of 10:
It’s tough to actually decide where I stand on Battleborn. One the one hand I can see that it’s a competently made game with plenty of charm in its varied roster and one fresh gameplay mode that I would happily play again. Yet the single player was a bore in its core gameplay loop, the two multiplayer modes have issues with their map design, and the gating of characters and abilities just feels unnecessary for a MOBA. However, it is still possible to get a kick or two out of Battleborn.
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. In 2020, Battleborn achieved a peak player count of 113.
Although it definitely had its flaws, it’s hard to ignore the influence Blizzard’s Overwatch had on Battleborn’s failure, both games launching in a similar timeframe and one offering a markedly more polished experience even if they did exist in separate subgenres. Thankfully, Gearbox managed to make a comeback in 2019 with Borderlands 3 having been a notable success.