Battleborn Is Shutting Down In 2021

Battleborn Is Shutting Down In 2021

Despite a small crowd of diehards who went so far as to organise events in an attempt to save the game, Battleborn seems destined to go down in history as a high-profile flop. Two years ago, developer Gearbox halted updates to the already-shot hero shooter. Today, publisher 2K announced plans to sunset the game entirely.

On Twitter, 2K said that in January 2021 Battleborn’s servers will be deactivated, and the game will become unplayable. It’s already been de-listed from stores. In February of next year, 2K will pull the plug on players’ ability to purchase virtual currency. In the gap between the money store turning off its lights and the end of the line in 2021, players will still be able to spend currency they previously purchased or continue to earn.

Aside from the currency stuff, “nothing else in the game will change until January 2021, when the servers go offline,” according to a post on 2K’s support site.

But when 2021 rolls around, it will be curtains for the hero battler that might have been born, but never got a chance to truly live. From the get-go, Gearbox’s ambitious fusion of hero shooter charactersization and MOBA-inspired mechanics suffered from low server populations and confusion over what exactly it was. Three weeks after Battleborn came out, Overwatch, a more straightforward hero shooter with a much bigger marketing budget, cannon-balled onto the scene and stole every last cent of its lunch money.

Developers who worked on Battleborn poured countless gallons of passion into it, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. Now, like so many other online games that never quite found their groove, it’s set to disappear entirely—yet another game the industry has failed to preserve in any meaningful way.

“Once the servers are offline in January 2021, Battleborn won’t be playable in any way,” said 2K.


  • I hope Gearbox will release the source code or at least server tools so the community can maintain it. There is quite a good game hiding underneath strangely enough.

  • servers will be deactivated, and the game will become unplayable.

    Games as a ‘service‘, ladies and gentlemen. The glorious future of gaming, according to publishers.

    Fuck that, fuck them, fuck always online, and fuck all opponents of digital preservation.

    • especially when the game was a pretty fun distraction in single player, but I could never get a stable enough connection from their end, so gave up when I kept getting bumped out 20min into any level! (and unlike Fortnite’s STW where rounds only take around 20min anyway, no mid-level reconnect and game recovery to mitigate it)

      at least when games like Brink failed to gain traction we could still mess around solo, or games with P2P hosting when you couldn’t rely on remote servers

    • This is my biggest concern about online gaming/games as service. There are going to be so many games that are lost to us when they’re no longer profitable because the servers get turned off.

      At least, they’ll be lost to us until the nostalgia gets strong enough that publishing companies can re-sell them as “classics” on a new platform.

      • You mean, ‘has to be played through the publisher’s central servers instead of privately-hosted dedicated networks?”

        The argument that online = publisher-hosted is horse shit, and we have endless examples through history to prove it.

      • No, you don’t need to keep the servers on for infinity, you need for single-playable modes to be playable offline or on local/dedicated servers.

        This is what we’re losing by publishers shifting to the bullshit online-only policy for no good reasons. They lie through their teeth about the benefits to players that online brings (not deigning to justify the ‘only’ part of online-only), but the truth is that they’re saddling the game with a death sentence that purges it from history for all time, all for the sake of fighting piracy, extending sales tales through social pressure, and forcing audiences on to more profitable titles when they’re done supporting it. And those are all shitty reasons to impose the negatives that come with online-only.

  • Now where am I going to go for my daily hit of “FPS; hobby-grade coop campaign; genre-blended, multi-mode competitive e-sports; meta-growth, choice + epic Battleborn Heroes!” gaming?

  • There are solutions to preserving the game for those that want it, over them being c75ts and taking peoples money until such time as it doesn’t suit their coffers. Like enabling dedicated user owned or run servers.

    I wonder if the majority of people that purchased the game, would have done so knowing the game would be rendered unplayable in the future. I’m sure at least the ACCC would have something to say about that!

    • Part of the agreements on almost every game that we often accept without reading stipulate that they can cut online services with 30 days notice.

      Let’s be honest, the biggest surprise about this news is that they are waiting until 2021.

      • An EULA or part thereof would not supersede the law in any case. Particularly where I believe the game was an outright purchase at some stage of it’s life?

  • What? I thought Battleborn was going to be around til at the very least the time that Ready Player One becomes a reality!

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