I really feel for Gear Box. Instead of churning out the same title every year, they tried something new. An FPS/MOBA hybrid with colorful characters and a futuristic setting. Unfortunately, Blizzard did the same thing with Overwatch. And once everyone decided Battleborn was just a cheap copy of Overwatch it was all over. Overwatch cleaned up all the game of the year awards and Battleborn died a quick death. But it seems that heroes never die! (Last Overwatch talk I swear.) Yes, Battleborn is still kicking, and refuses to go down without a fight. Why? Because Battleborn is Free to Play Now. Sort of.
Battleborn: Free-ish to Play
Now, Gearbox isn’t keen on calling the game free to play. Instead, they’re calling it a free trial experience. And, in a twitter argument over what the model is, Gearbox head honcho Randy Pitchford, called the business model “retail with DLC”. However, nobody else seems to feel that way. Although you can only play 6 of the 30 characters in rotation, but the entire game is still functional. There are no level caps, no hidden content like skins or equipment, and your progress saves with the characters. So if a character you were playing went off rotation your progress will still be there when they come back to the free trial. And if you want to do a little more, heroes, skins, boosters, and Story Mode Operations are all unlockable individually in the Marketplace. Marketplace content is purchasable with either in-game credits or Platinum premium currency.
Steam seems to see it as Free to Play as well.
And if you’re someone who purchases content and then upgrade to the full game, you’ll receive in-game credits to compensate duplicate items. Plus, anyone who already owns the game is getting upgraded to “Founder” status, which gives Legendary Gear, 1000 Platinum, 50,000 Credits, loot packs, a “Founder’s Crown” flair item, and other bonuses. All in all, not a bad bonus for the people who stuck with it.
Is It Worth It?
Let’s be honest. Battleborn isn’t a bad game. It’s not great either, but for what it is, it does alright. And the game actually did sell pretty well when it first came out. But thanks to the hype machine that Blizzard was able to orchestrate for Overwatch, Battleborn never had a chance. And because of this, there have been less than 100 players on at a time during off peak hours. Seriously. With the game officially in free-to-play mode no matter what Gearbox says, it’s worth a shot. Right? Nobody has to pay for the game anymore, and having all the characters be on a carousel might be the best thing for players.
Sure, not everybody will like who’s available at any given time, but it means everyone gets to try something new. It helps keep the game new and interesting for new players. And once they decide they want the game full-time? They can just buy the game for a pretty low price. ($30 really is a decent price for a game like this.) So now that you can try it out for free, will you be giving Battleborn a shot? I know I will. But not this weekend… Double XP for Overwatch…