Battleborn is an online first-person shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game was released worldwide on May 3, 2016.
2K has announced that the servers for Battleborn will be shut down on January 2021, which will render the game permanently unplayable, Platinum, (the game's premium currency) is no longer purchasable as of February 20th, 2020 The game has been delisted from digital stores.
Why It Flopped
NOTE: The game wasn't crappy, but the article goes over why it financially failed.
- Over-saturation: The game is unoriginal and tries to be another generic shooter instead of trying something new, and when Overwatch, A new IP from Blizzard at the time, came around and Battleborn was quickly killed off because of this due to Overwatch having more hype and a more recognized developer behind it. The game also tried to cash in on the MOBA genre as well by shoehorning MOBA elements.
- In an attempt to attract players, Gearbox made the game free a year later. However, this didn't solve anything, since the number of players were still extremely low and multiplayer was still barren, and the fact that the story mode is locked behind a 30 dollar paywall doesn't help the game out that much. Also, any potential player count that could have been obtained was taken away by Paladins, a free to play shooter game similar to this which already launched in September 2016, months before Battleborn became free-to-play.
- Lots of microtransactions, even when the game was a paid title.
- Terrible release date: It came out right before Overwatch's release, thus, it was unable to get any attention because most potential players often decided to chose to play Overwatch over it instead, and some people even called it a rip-off of Overwatch, hurting a lot of the game's reputation.
- While the graphics aren't horrible, the art style is unoriginal, since it's just the one for Borderlands..
- Only five game modes, with only three at launch, meaning that you'll have to play the same five/three multiplayer modes over and over again.
- There was an added game mode is just a reskin of Meltdown but with 3v3 teams, which is really lazy.
- Poor marketing: The marketing tried to appeal to dudebros by using words like "Badass" to get them and other people to buy the game. A porn-themed Reddit forum was created by Randy Pitchford himself to promote the game as well.
- An uninteresting story mode, which you must pay 30 dollars for despite the online modes being completely barren, which is unacceptable considering the fact that it doesn't have any offline gameplay or anything.
- Simplistic AI.
- You must wait 100 or so seconds just for everyone to choose a character, which is really unnecessary and only makes waiting for a match to start more frustrating than helpful.
- The dialogue is cringeworthy, such as some of the dialogue by the tutorial narrator, and it once again tries to be hip and cool. The game, once again, tries to appeal to the dudebros with words such as "badass" being said constantly for no reason.
- Speaking of attempts to be cool, one of the characters holds their pistol like a gangster!
- The jokes and humor are rather inferior compared to the first two Borderlands titles and is really unfunny, and forced.
- No Team Deathmatch mode, despite it being what should be an obvious addition to a shooting game, and it being one of the most accessible modes in shooters for new players.
- The gameplay systems prove to be way too complex for newer players, and they'll have to play for hundreds of hours just to get great and powerful loadouts.
- The characters are horribly unbalanced. Some are underpowered, while others are overpowered.
- The game is so flashy that the screen is extremely busy. The HUD is more distracting than the medals that flash when you do something in Call of Duty!
- The graphics are still good, even though the style has been used before.
- The idea of MOBA and FPS together is an interesting idea.
- It could be fun to some people.
- A nicely done anime style intro in the story mode.
- Some of the character concepts are interesting gameplay-wise.
Battleborn was a massive failure and became infamous for its poor marketing and fast downfall thanks to other class based shooters such as Overwatch or Paladins, and being released with other games such as Uncharted 4: A Theif's End and Doom 2016 being released around the same month. It was considered one of the biggest flops in modern gaming, up until LawBreakers suffered an even bigger failure.
Both Battleborn and LawBreakers are now seen as prime examples how how over-saturation can kill a genre; in this case, the hero shooter.