Report Says Battleborn Going Free-to-Play, Gearbox Denies It [UPDATE]

[UPDATE] Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford wrote on Twitter today that Battleborn is not being converted into a free-to-play game. However, there may be a free trial version offered down the road.

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.

— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) September 29, 2016

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.

— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) September 29, 2016

Free trial plans are not firm yet – months away. Expect great continued support and awesome line up of DLC.

— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) September 29, 2016

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.

— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) September 29, 2016

The original story is below.

A major change could be coming to Borderlands developer Gearbox’s hero shooter Battleborn. A source told Kotaku that the game will switch to a free-to-play business model in the coming months. An official announcement about this is said to be made by mid-November, though nothing is set in stone.

Free-to-play was the business model that Gearbox wanted from the start, the source said, adding that it was publisher 2K’s decision to offer it as a $60 game. The game came out in May to decent sales, outpacing the original Borderlands over a comparable period of time, according to Gearbox, but parent publisher Take-Two said the game ultimately underperformed.

In February, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said Battleborn represented the company’s “biggest investment” ever, calling the game a “big bet.”

“We’ve invested more than Borderlands 1 and 2 added together into Battleborn,” he said at the time. “And we don’t even know if people will be interested or not.”

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Battleborn didn’t stay at its full price for long, as it was discounted to $40 just weeks after launch. Right now, you can pick up the game for only $20 on Amazon.

As it did with Borderlands games in the past, Gearbox has supported Battleborn with new content in the form of more hero characters and maps, which are available for free. Additionally, Gearbox has plans for even more extra content in the future. The game also has a number of microtransactions available, as you can spend real money on all manner of bundles that include the game’s currency, Platinum.

According to Kotaku’s source, Gearbox may offer a reward of some kind to existing Battleborn players when the game switches to a free-to-play business model. The source added that 2K was encouraged to switch Battleborn’s to use a free-to-play model after another one of its games, Evolve, did the same and saw a significant uptick in players as a result.

In an unrelated matter, the source also informed Kotaku that, as rumored, Gearbox will indeed publish the remastered version of Bulletstorm.

GameSpot has contacted 2K Games and Gearbox in an attempt to get more details on the future of Battleborn. We’ll update this post with anything we hear back.

Would you be interested in a free-to-play version of Battleborn? Let us know in the comments below.

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