Battleborn: a history on development of this gem

There seems to be a lot of people who don’t realize how the development of Battleborn went. I hope to give you a little insight into how Battleborn went down from someone who has watched the entire thing unfold.

2014: Battleborn was announced via game informer back in July 2014. The announcement was coupled with Randy pitchfords really confusing tweet trying to explain what Battleborn was. Ultimately the reception was positive that gbx was making something new, but no one really understood at the time what the game actually was.

2015: Gbx slowly announces more and more characters, while still not explaining what their game actually was so that people could grasp it. 2k begins marketing for the game, for example putting giant banners up at GameStop. Most people began to lose interest, being that so few people actually understood what the game was. The only allure was it was being made by gbx. In the later part of the year, a closed technical test happened and a release date was announced for February 9, 2016. The ctt had a nondisclosure agreement so no one who began playing the game and actually learned what it was about could explain it to anyone else.

2016: Right away the game was delayed to may 3 to work on bugs. (I believe this was the killing blow that would later cripple bb and I’ll explain it later). Marketing begins waning most likely because they already spent so much. Gbx began inviting media companies like ign to come play their game in a big session. During this session there was confusion caused by gbx. They insisted it wasn’t a moba, told some people there would be no microtransactions, and gave the players no explanation on how to play the game. Very few grasped what they were doing and actually liked the game but the overall response was “meh”. Shortly afterwards they announce their open beta, while still announcing characters with videos detailing their skills for a game the general public still didn’t understand. Blizzard announces their beta date to be the same as bb release date and their release would be shortly after. Gbx tweets out “come at me bro”. At this point, gbx has already delayed their game once, and any momentum they had would be lost if they delayed again so they decided to take on blizzard. Very few games are successful after a 2nd delay. The beta releases and people begin to finally understand what this game was.

Launch: the game opened to mediocre reception (having the reviewers come to the studio to play the campaign for their review didn’t help). It had bugs, balancing issues, and matchmaking issues. All fixable, and a majority was fixed, but it was too late. Blizzard releases overwatch to (ridiculously high imo) review scores of 10 nearly across the board and bb is crushed in interest for anyone deciding between the two. Gbx then continues to screw up by confusing the community with vague announcements and explanations. This includes hero keys, microtransactions, and significant price drops within 30 days. Gbx has done their best at this point to have events, fix bugs, balance, have new content but they could never recover from their launch. The community tried to make an event most recently, which helped for the weekend but did not get the numbers near as high as the golden days and did not retain the players they gained for the weekend. Media sources have made sure the general public knows this which is bad for the future. 2k has just acknowledged that bb is a failure and a low quality game.

Tl:dr - The key things to take away: 2k spent more on marketing for bb than any Borderlands release but did so at the wrong time due to the games delay. No one understood Bb for a very long time causing a lost in interest while marketing was happening. Bb was between a rock and a hard place when blizzard announced their dates (most likely to crush the competition as they’ve done before fyi). 2k has officially called bb a failure and their games should not be judged by the quality of games like this. Sadly, the stars aligned to screw bb over.

Final note: I love this game and put a lot of hours into it like the rest of you. I just see a lot of people claiming things that aren’t correct.

2 Likes

Battleborn was a failure sale wise on ESPECIALLY on PC and ps4 slightly (isn’t it gaining more players?) While xbox one did fine, even then, to me at least, the game itself is not in any way a failure

MOBAs thrive off of competition and the formation of a meta. This games utter lack of such shows how it failed. It’s still an amazing game, but flopped

2 Likes

Your right, but to me it flopped because of uniqueness and bad marketing and finally the developer reputation

I could see that

Yeah, and sorry if I get mad easily today (I just saw what take two said about themselves and evolve and battleborn)

1 Like

http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=battleborn

Actually, the PS4 version has outsold the XBox One version. Only sold around 130,000 copies on Xbox, 230,000 copies on PS4. Also interesting to note that all 3 versions had about half their sales during the first week.

Hard to know how accurate these particular charts are, but interesting.

1 Like

I really don’t care and understand and it’s np

Yep, imagine if BB was launched with a ranked mode and proper support for a comp scene? That could have had a big impact. A lot of (most) comp players left because the game simply didn’t support competitive play. Broadcaster mode wasn’t nearly enough and it came way too late.

Oh, all the “what ifs” for this game.

3 Likes

im editing my post due to crankiness.

We gotta try to embrace this game. it’s good. One small change to match making and / or proper ranked andi think this could have some real staying power. Because the game itself is a gem. And I love it.

i’ll say one thing. I really really really look forward to the day that they fix match making to the way competitive match making games have been for the past decade plus. Since like…2006. Doing this one step will make pvp easier for new people to get used to (since they’ll be teamed up AND PLAYING AGAINST other people with a similar ranked level) while making high level games more rewarding for high level people.

an important thing to note is that this game did not sell badly at all. it’s the player retention that has been suffering. Player retention isn’t really 2K’s fault. That lies more on the game makers themselves. Just saying.

Would have helped if they didn’t spend so much time with the marketing genius of “hey we have a campaign mode too, guys… guys?” While ignoring the PvP side for what seemed like forever.