Battleborn goes Free to Play (Kinda). In Other News: Battleborn is Still a Thing

I’ve never played Battleborn. Like with pretty much everyone, i went with Overwatch as my multiplayer shooter of choice when the two games were coming out. While i don’t regret that decision, i am some what saddened by the bum wrap Battleborn has gotten. Other than the fact the two are both hero shooters, the two don’t seem to have much else in common, with Battleborn taking much more inspiration from the MOBA genre than Overwatch ever did. I think, had the public been kinder, there was more than enough space for both games. Sadly that just wasn’t in the cards, and Battleborn swiftly faded into obscurity.

But you know what, bless Gearboxes little hearts, becuase they are doing everything they can to fight that. While part of that was a cringy attempt to jump on the Overwatch porn train, their newest idea isn’t so bad: go free to play. The problem is everything they don’t tell you in the trailer. They make it clear that only the multiplayer is free (as if anyone cares about the games story or lore), but you can play as much as you want. However, unless you spend money you are limited to a roster of 6 of the games 30 heros a week. From what i understand, this is something a lot of MOBA’s do, but what bothers me is the fact they didn’t state this in the trailer. I might not have had to do a whole lot of digging to find this information out, but it was still more than necessary.

Once more, i’ve never played Battleborn so this is pure speculation on my part but here’s my issue. If you get good enough at Overwatch (which i very much am not) you soon learn that there are checks and balances for each character. I really enjoy playing at Junkrat, but he’s more or less useless against Pharah as she’s often out of my reach. A (good) Widowmaker player can easily deal with Pharah however. And so on, and so on. If that’s true for Battleborn, by restricting the player roster for free players, you’re putting them at a disadvantage as they can’t take full advantage of those checks and balances. And if this is true for Battleborn, this attempt at going free to play will soon become an exorcises in the worst kinds of psychological bullying these kinds of games are known for. I’m not against Devs making money off their work, but this looks to me like a half measure with too much potential to go the wrong way. While it may piss off the….three?…people that actually bought Battleborne, maybe a better way forward would have been to simply go fully free to play. To be fair, i have no idea if the game has the kind of infrastructure to support that kind of change (i.e., is their anything worth spending money on? loot boxes, cosmetics, that kind of thing?). But for right now i’m interested to see where this goes, if it goes any where.