Originally reported by Jason Schreier at Kotaku, a person familiar with plans for Battleborn leaked that the shooter would be going free to play over the coming months. The source claims that an announcement could be released as soon as November, as well as the fact that said announcement has already been pushed back a few times.
According to the anonymous source, Gearbox had originally wanted to release the hero shooter as free to play from the get go. However, publisher 2K Games preferred to have Battleborn launch at $60, perhaps to the detriment of the title. Competition from Blizzard’s absurdly popular Overwatch has proven to be too much for the game, and frequent sales haven’t been enough to turn things around yet.
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has other thoughts on the report, however, as he elaborated on some tentative future plans for the game through a series of Tweets sent out earlier this evening.
I was just told about a reckless story about Battleborn going F2P that is false. There are no plans to convert Battleborn free to play. We have some unannounced plans to do a trial version of the game that would be free and from which retail can be purchased along with DLC. Free trial plans are not firm yet – months away. Expect great continued support and awesome line up of DLC. I do not expect we’ll have our details sorted or be ready to talk about it until we’re well past the DLC – months away at best.
While 2K hasn’t been shy about the shooter’s struggles, obviously nothing has been confirmed at this point. If Battleborn does indeed go free to play, though, is that necessarily a bad thing? Fellow struggling shooter Evolve went F2P earlier this year, and has experienced a surge in popularity ever. If Battleborn does the same, it could theoretically turn things around for the game – if implemented properly, that is.