Battleborn, Gearbox's oft-forgotten stab at the hero shooter genre, will be shut down in January 2021, publisher 2K announced (opens in new tab) today. The game has already been removed from digital stores as of this writing, and 2K says it's "now in the process of gradually sunsetting the game to focus our efforts and resources on other projects."
The option to purchase premium Platinum currency, for example, will be disabled on February 24, 2020. 2K says that existing Platinum currency will still be spendable, and you'll still be able to earn it in-game after February 24, but it won't be available for direct purchase. And yes, it is strange to see a game removed from stores but still allow in-game purchases.
Apart from that, Battleborn will remain unchanged until its servers are taken offline in January 2021. After that, neither its solo campaign nor its multiplayer modes will be available. Poof, a whole game, gone. Here's a late welcome to the digital age.
In case you missed it, or indeed forgot about it, here's a quick refresher. Battleborn was released in February 2016, right around the time of the big hero shooter boom spawned by Overwatch and its runaway success. It had nice art and its MOBA-style character builder and objectives had their moments, but as we said in our review (opens in new tab), Battleborn was OK at best. Unfortunately for it, OK didn't cut it in 2016, not when everyone was high on the Overwatch beta. It ran into some bugs and balance issues, and it wasn't long before most everyone had written it off for dead.
To its credit, much like Epic's ill-fated MOBA Paragon (which, coincidentally, was killed so Epic could focus on Fortnite's success), Battleborn did command a small but loyal fan base for several years. That said, it's no surprise to see 2K pull the plug. Hell, the fact that it's keeping the lights until January 2021 is a surprise. If nothing else, may Battleborn be remembered for, according to art director Scott Kester, contributing to Borderlands 3's success (opens in new tab) by giving Gearbox a much-needed break and some inspiration.
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