Seems like sometime in November is the plan
Gearbox Software’s MOBA-lite shooter Battleborn never stood much of a chance. It released in the same timeframe as the likes of Overwatch and Doom, and everyone’s collective interest gravitated toward those titles. Amid low player counts, early and aggressive sales were staged. In an earnings call, publisher 2K Games confirmed that it performed below expectations.
As many predicted, Battleborn will seemingly get a second shot in the free-to-play sector. Kotaku reports it has a source that confirms this shift should take place in the next couple of months, probably by mid-November. This has allegedly been in the works for a while, and that the announcement has already been delayed a few times.
Interestingly enough, the Kotaku piece mentions Gearbox wanted Battleborn to be a free-to-play title all along. It was supposedly under insistence from 2K that it was sold as a full-priced retail product. That strategy obviously didn’t work, so it seems as if Plan B is to switch to what Gearbox wanted all along.
There’s recent precedent for 2K breathing new life into its games by going this route. Evolve was recently re-branded as Evolve: Stage 2 and made free-to-play. Initially, it shot up the Steam charts. At time of writing, it sits far lower (but still in Steam’s top 100 best performers of the day) with approximately 2,700 concurrent players. If this report pans out, we’ll see in due time whether or not free-to-play can work the same magic for Battleborn.