Gearbox’s Battleborn has ostensibly gone free to play as of yesterday.
In an announcement on the Battleborn website, Gearbox has revealed a new free to play trial. Players will be able to pick up Battleborn with unlimited access to all multiplayer gameplay modes and maps with no time limits or level caps.
A total of six heroes will be available to play, on weekly rotation, out of the 30 hero roster and all hero progress is saved, so players can pick up where they leave off with the heroes when they come round again.
A small trailer was also released to promote the new trial.
To compensate for the free to play scheme, players will be able to unlock heroes, cosmetic skins and taunts, story operations, and more by paying for them individually. Purchasing a retail copy of Battleborn provides several bonuses as well; unlocking 25 out of the thirty characters, the eight story mode missions and permanent access to private matches. Achievements are also unlocked for players who purchase the full copy of Battleborn.
As for those who have already bought the game, Gearbox is granting players a special “founders status” for their loyalty. Founders status grants players extra bonus content, including some legendary gear, 1,000 Platinum, 50,000 credits, loot packs and a flair item known as “The Founders Crown.”
The move to go free to play has been a big boon to Battleborn, which had relatively low numbers of players since its release in May of last year. Steamcharts, however, shows a massive spike of players on Battleborn, pushing the number of concurrent players to over 1,000 participants, the first time since August of 2016. The numbers are a 36.53% spike compared to last weeks numbers.
This is a similar pattern as seen with fellow online only game Evolve, which had a large spike in January of 2017 after unveiling their own free to play scheme. Evolve currently sits at about 300-500 concurrent players at a time.
Gearbox is very reluctant, apparently, to call this fully free to play for Battleborn. That being said, this is ostensibly the shot in the arm the game needed to be revived. The game itself isn’t terrible, but maybe this will create a solid player base again. It could also just be too little, too late though, but time will tell if this move sticks and Battleborn gets play again.
What do you think though? Leave your comments below.