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Will Borderlands 4 be a Live Service Game?

Is Borderlands 4 a Live Service Game, Yes or No?

Will Gearbox Software make Borderlands 4 a live-service game? That question has been going around for years, and has the Borderlands community rallied up because there are two clear camps on the subject. While one group embraces it, the other doesn’t want it in their game.

Gearbox Software and 2K Games have not announced that Borderlands 4 will be a live-service game. Randy Pitchford – President of Gearbox Entertainment – has mentioned on Twitter/X that their “Better with Live” experience is the way to go. That way you can enjoy the game offline but if you happen to be online, you get this additional layer sprinkled on top.

Always Online

The benefits of a live service game would be that there is ongoing support, fresh content, and events. However, live service games would require you to have a constant online connection with the game’s server and while some of us assume that you always have an internet connection anyway, that’s not the case for everyone. Therefore, this requirement is something that isn’t beloved because it would prevent people from playing the game when their internet dies or when the game’s servers are taken down. Games like Battleborn have become unplayable as a result of the publisher pulling the plug.

Modded Gear

A live service game could prevent Modded gear, while some are against it I haven’t seen issues with this. Borderlands isn’t a competitive game and if you want to one-shot everything do that in your own game. I had a friend do some of that stuff in Borderlands 1, it was fun for a little while but then discovered it wasn’t the way I wanted to play as I didn’t achieve anything.

Borderlands 2 added a sanity check as some Modded weapons were out of control. Gear that didn’t pass the vibe check got deleted from your inventory.

Gearbox Software doesn’t seem to have a problem with modders as long as they don’t break the game for the majority of the players. They had to step in when someone activated the perma-death mode that was left in Borderlands 2’s code and it started spreading to other players who then lost their save files upon death.

A Real HUB Town

Borderlands games and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands have these HUB towns that you frequently return to. It could be nice to see other players walking around there. Character customization, Taunts, and Trading would probably become more useful.

I’m not looking forward to seeing bunny hopping Vault Hunters all over the place but a social hub could reinforce the community aspects of the game. As long as we don’t get situations as the Division had, where 1 person stood in the doorway and prevented people from completing the tutorial level.

Conclusion

I have talked to a few fellow Borderlands Creators and they wanted more content updates as they burned through content and wanted more fresh content to play and saw a Live Service model as the way to get that. However, with Gearbox Software’s “Better With Live” approach you get benefits from a live service game without the negatives.

Gearbox Software can update the game through their SHiFT Service. Every time you start up the game it will check for the latest hotfixes. They did this weekly for Borderlands 3 where the game received a ton of adjustments for at least a year. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands had the same service but on a lower scale as they didn’t expect the game to perform that much as it did.

Gearbox Software and 2K Games have to do more season passes. Borderlands 3 received two season passes but the second one was basically cut content bundled into 2 packages. The Borderlands 2 DLCs initially also consisted of Story Campaign Add-ons but then added these smaller Headhunter Packs, content that seems to be more in line with the needs of core players. The Revenge of the Cartels DLC would be a good example for Borderlands 3.

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I'm a Content Creator by day and a BattleBread Baker at night. I'll provide you with your recommended slice of entertainment! I'm a Gearbox Community Badass and a proud member of the official Borderlands & Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Creator Team (2K Games / NextMakers).

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