Borderlands 2 may get a surprise story DLC after all judging from these strange game files

Recent activity around the Steam version of Borderlands 2 lines up with the rumor that it will receive some sort of tide-me-over DLC during E3 2019. It certainly doesn't confirm it - Steam games get updated all the time for maintenance, minor fixes, and other miscellaneous reasons - but it is curious, and the rumor also fits with movement observed earlier this year. 

As previously reported, after over three years of inactivity, the Steam version of Borderlands 2 added a few new branches around two months ago. In this context, a branch is an unlisted, alternate version of a game which may be used to test new content or updates, among other things. According to Steam's logs, Borderlands 2 branches code-named Anemone and Mancana (Gearbox has a history of naming projects after plants) popped up around March, saw a few rounds of testing, and were eventually merged. This was right around the time Gearbox first publicly teased Borderlands 3, but while it did raise some eyebrows, nothing really came of it.  

Interestingly, Anemone and Mancana received further updates this past week, starting with a branch titled "Anemone: Last Stable Build" added on May 23. This was followed by "Mancana Anemony 2", and most recently, "Mancana nightly". The latter is especially interesting, as 'nightly' generally refers to software builds which are being updated regularly and saved on a nightly basis. This suggests Gearbox is actively tinkering with whatever Mancana is, and given the previous activity surrounding it, it's possible it's connected to Borderlands 2's rumored DLC. Hell, it's possible it is the rumored DLC, but that's just speculation. 

It would be strange for Borderlands 2 to get new DLC seven years after launch, but at the same time, Gearbox is so attached to Borderlands that I can definitely see it. And as fans have speculated, a surprise DLC, even a minor one, could help bridge the story gap between the second and third games while also reinvigorating the series' community, especially if it's released smack in the middle of E3 as the rumor suggests. Likewise, while it isn't strange to see Steam games get updated out of nowhere, these pockets of Borderlands 2 activity and the consistent terminology between them stand out. It could be nothing, it could be everything - we'll find out in a few weeks.  

Need more Borderlands secrets and Easter eggs? Check out the teasers hidden in this updated Borderlands 3 box art.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.