Remember Battleborn? In decline from near-enough the moment it arrived, Gearbox’s doomed hero shooter finally went offline for good this weekend.
Battleborn had been on minimal life support for some time. The game’s final update was in October 2017, just 19 months after release. Two years later, Gearbox prepared for the end with the removal of premium currencies. Last night, the studio finally pulled the plug on the ailing game.
While we were fond of Battleborn at launch, we felt it was “in the midst of an identity crisis”. It was a more technical, fiddly take on the hero shooter format—one that, like the similarly ill-fated Super Monday Night Combat, was more directly inspired by MOBAs than class-based shooters. Unfortunately, that left it ill-defined when pitted against the more established genre behemoth, Overwatch.
It didn’t help that not even Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford could make a convincing pitch for the thing.
Battleborn is: FPS; hobby-grade coop campaign; genre-blended, multi-mode competitive e-sports; meta-growth, choice + epic Battleborn Heroes!July 8, 2014
Unfortunately, while Battleborn had a story mode of sorts, the game’s online requirements mean that no part of the game is playable anymore. In a shutdown message displayed in-game, Gearbox writes:
“Heroes! It’s been a hell of a ride, but all fights must end. The campaign and multiplayer are no longer available as the Battleborn servers are offline. Thank you for playing.
Battleborn wasn’t a blowout success, but it had its fans. A cursory glance at Steam Charts shows 159 peak players in its final month, though it was peaking at 30 or 40 in the months prior. The game’s subreddit is now full of memorial posts from players bidding farewell to their favourite game.