Should Battleborn 2 drop out of the blue?

This blog is written just after the release of Apex Legends, a Battle Royale game by Respawn Entertainment and EA Games. This game had an interesting launch and I'm wondering if this is also a good strategy for Gearbox Software and 2K Games to take if they consider releasing a follow up to Battleborn.
Battleborn 2 Unexpected launch
Battleborn 2 Unexpected launch

The Stigma

To get things out of the way, while Battleborn may not have been the biggest hit that Gearbox Software and 2K Games released, I do give them credit for developing something fresh. Borderlands was once such a game, exploring new territories by blending genres. With Battleborn, Gearbox Software hoped to do the same, however, the game got overshadowed by another colossus and got stuck with a bad stigma that it couldn’t shake off.  As the anticipation level for a sequel to Borderlands is through the roof at the moment, I personally am also looking forward to a sequel to Battleborn. However, what would a follow up look like?

What does the next Battleborn game look like?

Personally, I can see Gearbox go into multiple directions with the next installment of Battleborn.

  • Upgrade the current foundation, iterate from the lessons learned, add new stuff and bring it to the next level.
  • Embrace the story mode and make it a “reskin” of Borderlands, as Battleborn has a great universe with deep lore.
  • Embrace the multiplayer mode and go free to play.

The seed that sparked Battleborn is that a  competitive game is seamlessly layered on top of a  story campaign.  Therefore it wouldn’t surprise me when Gearbox keeps this setup, however, the delivery of the game would be “backwards” to how Battleborn initially launched.

Battleborn 2 free from the start?

For the sake of this article, what if Battleborn 2 initially only focused on the multiplayer aspect of the game and released it as a free to play title. Launching as a F2P game gives everyone instant access to the game. The messaging would already be better compared to the Free Trial that current game has. As for monetization, you would have cosmetics as their “main” revenue source. You want to strike a good balance between unlocking stuff by playing the game and having premium items. Gearbox can also add story missions as optional downloadable content and even include a few premium items with it.

How to go to market?

Now that we have a vision of how a next Battleborn game could shape up, we need to look at how it should penetrate the market. This is where the release of Apex Legends kicks in. Respawn Entertainment who is the developer behind that game knew they were working with EA Games. And even if you have been lying under a rock for 2 years, you would know that they have a bad reputation regarding in-game monetization.  The devs know they are making a F2P game with microtransactions. So instead of marketing the game beforehand with the chance of monetization rumors they skipped the whole PR build up and let the game speak for itself.

I know Nintendo has released a few smaller titles without any marketing beforehand. They mention it during a Nintendo Direct and said it’s available now. For a triple-A game to do this is very risky, so you need a lot of confidence in your product (or a lot of money). You see that the leadup time on games is getting shorter. Where in the early days a game would be teased years ahead of time, we now live in an instant gratification society. We got video on demand and we can binge watch complete series when we want. No need to flirt with a cutie as you can simply swipe right and you got a date.

So should Gearbox and 2K just drop Battleborn 2 as a surprise and let people judge the game as it is instead of accumulating negative perception? Battleborn has a bad stigma, for a long time, it was the game to call out as a complete failure. Online people even measured other games on their misfortune by comparing it to Battleborn. Why go through that process when you can have a project that scales with its player base? If EA would have promoted a Free to Play game with a business model that is based around microtransactions gamers would shred it to pieces.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments below or on social media.

Let Me Know What You Think

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18 Comments

  1. Mateo Leviathon

    I really hope they make a sequel as I want more story and characters, but I doubt they will. 😞

    Reply
  2. Jay

    No. Gearbox should never release another Battleborn game ever again.

    Reply
  3. Michael William Capote

    Battleborn 2.0 would crush. they just need to do a better job marketing the fucking game. And they also need to just put Battborn 1.0 on Free To Play….. give me 1/4th the previous games PR budget and I could do a better job promoting it myself.

    Reply
  4. o5ca12

    Been wanting to learn more about Battleborn and now in the context of the Apex launch ~ fun read.

    Reply
  5. Warden of the Friendship Gulag

    I would fine either way with what they decide to do with the franchise.
    Just please keep Pitchford away… https://t.co/0xtPUWi1ql

    Reply
  6. Drew Hannan

    Disagree 100% w/ @MorninAfterKill – loved @Battleborn & still play it from time-to-time. The bad stigma… https://t.co/C8ebdR7REY

    Reply
  7. Kenny Edward Howlett

    Another BattleBorn would make me happy but I want Borderlands 3 first.

    Reply
  8. 🌈🌌Space Vixen

    It’s an interesting strategy, but it works given the way hype will literally make or break a game now.… https://t.co/Tez7a84rfm

    Reply
  9. Jonathan Fontanezz

    Moonex Rodriguez

    Reply
  10. James Patrick Parks

    Finish Borderlands 3 first.

    Reply
  11. Make it happen please, I LOVE THE GAME.

    Reply
  12. Zeoia 🔞

    Considering there’s still a story to tell? Yeah. Plz Battleborn 2. …But don’t focus on being online o… https://t.co/uIaOr4SRwG

    Reply
  13. TheOnlyTachyon

    Battleborn 2 plssssssss!

    Reply
  14. Patrick Quinn

    I really love Battleborn, and I still play it regularly, but I have the impression that MOBA/character shooters are a very dicey proposition for a game company these days. Apex is doing quite well at the moment, but it’s free and there is no telling how long those player counts will last. It’s a very fickle and potentially costly scene. I’d really like to see more games set in the Battleborn universe, but maybe something in the Borderlandsy single/multiplayer vein would be a little safer bet.

    Reply
  15. Luca Mercuri

    Completly agree! The gave to much to audience before releas of battleborn… and everyone got inspired and they released theyr own games.. They should just pick the pieces back together work on a new battleborn or just actually a new game at all.

    Reply
  16. DrIvanRadosivic

    I would prefer more seasons of content for which more players on PC is needed.

    also, I am more of a P… https://t.co/eCSBQQDaA6

    Reply
  17. Frank Martinez

    I would absolutely love a sequel.

    Reply
  18. beya 🤖💕

    yeah the problem with stealth releases from now on is that *everyone* will want to try it now — hell w… https://t.co/SsGP9Lycxv

    Reply

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