Unlike most of the gaming population, 2K Games still thinks there’s some potential in Battleborn, the latest release from Gearbox Software. The colourful multiplayer shooter was released into a market full of colourful multiplayer shooters, and it hasn’t done so well against the competition.
Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive (2K’s parent company) has confirmed in an earnings call that Battleborn did fall short of expectations, but promises the company will continue to work on the game.
While the game launched to solid reviews, its performance in the market has been below our expectations. We think there remains an opportunity to grow the audience for this unique experience over time, and 2K will continue to drive engagement and recurrent consumer spending on the title through add-on content and virtual currency.
Skeptical rumours have already started circulating that the game follow Evolve’s lead and switch to a free to play model – something that has done amazing things for Turtle Rock’s shooter.
Zelnick made no comment addressing those stories, instead referring back to 2K’s long and well-established history of releasing great games. Since 2007, he explains, the publisher has launched “at least one new hit IP” in most years – giving them 11 franchises that have each sold more than 5m units in individual releases – and this puts them in a good position to take risks.
While one definitely has a reduced risk profile, when you put out a sequel versus new IP, I think, it’s both our obligation and our opportunity to do both. With regard to Battleborn, we’re being very frank about where we are, because we’re a transparent company. We’re still delivering new content to Battleborn. Audiences love Battleborn. We still have virtual currency coming for Battleborn. We’re not counting it out for a minute.
Zelnick also explains that the community has been – and will continue to be – a big part of Battleborn. Rather than just releasing the game the developers want to make, “the world has changed,” he says – so fans can help shape the game they want to play.
At this stage, of course, there’s no suggestion on timeframes for the upcoming changes to Battleborn, whether that is merely the introduction of virtual currency or something much bigger, so – sit tight. The game was updated just a week ago with a stack of new maps, so you know there’s always something new on the horizon.
If you’re one of the game’s handful of fans, tell us: What do you love about Battleborn? Why do you choose to play it over other games on the market? What would you say to critics?