Battleborn fans, the end is nigh. Though the game developed a small but passionate following, developer Gearbox has announced that the game's servers will be deactivated in January 2021. Until then, players will be able to continue to enjoy the title as is, with one exception: players will be no longer be able to purchase in-game currency starting in February 2020. Players will still be able to spend currency they have already purchased, but new purchases will not be allowed.
[1/3] Today we have begun the process of gradually sunsetting Battleborn. Starting February 24, 2020, you will no longer be able to purchase virtual currency for use in the game.— Battleborn (@Battleborn) November 25, 2019
Released in May of 2016, Battleborn has struggled to find a wide audience, despite a strong push from Gearbox and publisher 2K Games. The game is a first-person competitive/co-op shooter featuring 30 different playable hero characters. If that sounds at all familiar, many fans of the game blame the success of Overwatch for the title's woes. The two similarly-themed games were released just weeks apart, with Blizzard's option developing into a major pop culture success.
Since then, Battleborn has been suffering a slow, unfortunate death. In 2017, new updates for the game ceased, as fans desperately tried to bring attention to Battleborn. Unfortunately, none of those attempts were able to generate much interest, and those who haven't discovered the game yet will find that it's been de-listed from digital stores. Once the servers go down, the game will effectively cease to exist.
The fate of Battleborn speaks to an all-too-common problem in the video game industry at the moment: a number of online titles will only exist as long as their publishers support them. While publishers such as Limited Run Games have given download exclusive titles physical releases (thus ensuring their future playability), there is no way to preserve games like Battleborn. No matter how many hours a player sinks into the game, it simply won't be there for future generations to enjoy. Sadly, the existence of games such as these will remain fleeting.
Despite Battleborn's struggles, the game apparently proved beneficial for the development process of Borderlands 3. Gearbox referred to the title as something of a palate cleanser for the team, granting them a much-needed break between entries in the Borderlands franchise. Given that game's strong reviews, it would seem Battleborn's legacy continues on in some form.
Are you a fan of Battleborn? Will you continue playing the game until the bitter end? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!