Despite poor sales, 2K plan to keep trying to grow Battleborn's audience | PCGamesN

Despite poor sales, 2K plan to keep trying to grow Battleborn's audience

Battleborn open beta

Battleborn sales massively under-performed, but 2K say they're not quite done with the IP just yet and they plan to continue trying to grow the hero shooter's audience. 

If you don't fancy Battleborn, there's plenty of choice in our list of the best FPS games

You can tell Battleborn failed to hit expectations, since it was going for peanuts in a recent Humble Bundle and still its Steam player count is less than impressive.

Speaking after the financial report from 2K's parent company, Take Two, company CEO Strauss Zelnick admitted Battleborn missed its sales targets. "While the game launched to solid reviews, its performance in the market has been below our expectations," he said.

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Despite this, they still plan to support the game and try get it to where it needs to be. How? I personally think it will go the way of Evolve and go free-to-play, but here's the official line: "We think there remains an opportunity to grow the audience for this unique experience over time," Zelnick explained, "and 2K will continue to drive engagement and recurrent consumer spending on the title through add-on content and virtual currency."

So they plan to grow the audience (by making it free-to-play, I bet) and then add a bunch of microtransactions, trying to mimic the success they've had with GTA Online. It would certainly explain why that 2K Humble Bundle was such great value - a last ditch attempt to claw some money from sales before heading down the free route. 

For now, though, it seems like they are just going to rely on content updates that can be purchased with in-game currency.

"So with regard to Battleborn, we're being very frank about where we are, because we're a transparent company," said Zelnick.

"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. We're just telling you where we're at now."

Cheers, Eurogamer.

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Kinth! avatarWhiteCrow avatarEmpyre avatarAnAuldWolf avatarJenks avatarWarwalrus avatar
Kinth! Avatar
203
1 Year ago

I think the open "beta" did more harm than good for this game. It was just meh. Not terrible but also not particularly fun. Half the time I felt like I was about to have a seizure with all the shit on screen.

Add to that the price, the reams of DLC and the later added micro-transactions. It's no surprise it was a flop. I don't think Free to play will save it either. It has a bigger problem in that it just isn't particularly fun. Evolve is already sinking again for the same reason.

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AnAuldWolf Avatar
872
1 Year ago

The PvE component was fantastic in beta and at launch. It was the PvP that generally sucked because Gearbox may just not know how to make a PvP game. Unfortunately, their priority has been misplaced with PvP and eSports, and that's what hurt them.

Like I've pointed out, PvP people prefer things to be F2P and don't like paying for much. If they'd concentrated on making it a PvE game from the getgo, with the same amount of characters, but a stronger campaign with better interlinking between the missions, and more story missions to boot? It would have been a financial success for them.

I hope they've learned their lesson. I hope everyone paying attention has. You can't make money from PvP unless you can eSports with it, and that's a crowded area, so you'd better be sure you can do it right. More money can be very easily made off of co-op, where a much bigger and paying audience can be found.

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Kinth! Avatar
203
1 Year ago

I thought the PVE was dullest part. The levels all looked similar, the story wasn't worth following. All the enemies just felt like bullet sponges with little variance. If it was single player only then it would just be unfavourably compared to Borderlands instead. It is essentially the same thing minus the random guns. You are a character with special abilities fighting hordes of enemies. You just have a couple more abilities is all.

" PvP people prefer things to be F2P"

I don't think that is true in the slightest. CS:GO is paid for. Rainbow Six Siege is paid for, Overwatch is paid for. All of those games weren't flops. Devs and publishers are so sure that F2P isn't working for PVP that several games that were announced as F2P have switched to being a purchase. Such as Law Breakers and Alpha Reactor. Everyone assumed Overwatch would be F2P as well.

"You can't make money from PvP unless you can eSports with it"

Again not true at all. Overwatch isn't a big e-sport, it's been out months now and does not seem to be catching on as an e-sport. Yet it still made a massive amount of money. If you want to make perpetual never ending money from a game then it has to be a good e-sport. What you can't make money with is a bland competitive shooter where you spend 90% of your time shooting ai bots and having a fit because you screen is flashing every different colour under the sun.

1
WhiteCrow Avatar
632
1 Year ago

Prime example of making your bed and sleeping in it. There's no sympathy to be had because there's no reason to have any; this was self-inflicted from the get-go.

2
Empyre Avatar
268
1 Year ago

You just don't go toe to toe against Blizzard like that, you will just get burnt.

1
AnAuldWolf Avatar
872
1 Year ago

It might have been better if they'd launched as a PvE only game, yeah. The fact that they never even really advertised the PvE just drove me nuts, they just kept pushing the advertisement for the PvP segment. Most Overwatch players who seem to hate it on principle don't even seem to realise it has a PvE component.

-1
Jenks Avatar
352
1 Year ago

Gearbox and 2k were the only ones who thought their Monday Night Combat reskin was unique and was going to light the world on fire.

Their transparency is refreshing though.

1
Warwalrus Avatar
13
1 Year ago

They should have had more bald eagles.

1
AnAuldWolf Avatar
872
1 Year ago

I never know how to feel about Battleborn. On the one hand, it has some of the most fun characters I've seen in video games since the '90s, the writing is written by someone who has fun with it and wears their heart on their sleeve, and the experience feels genuine. I get the idea that it was someone's baby and it has so much more in the way of personality and identity (as opposed to identity theft) than Overwatch ever could. And don't even try to deny that, Blizzard never did have an identity of its own. The crafts are actually hammers, and so on.

The problem with Battleborn is in the execution. It's a horrible case of bad management, one that also wrecked Colonial Marines, sadly. It's a game that still has performance issues, balance issues, and design issues that could be easily fixed if they'd just shake up the people involved. It has the potential still to be something truly fantastic, it could be revamped and relaunched as two separate games (the PvP and PvE components), with two separate teams working on them. With the two working together occasionally to create assets for new heroes (though the balancing would be very different between both versions).

The PvP version could have loot drops. The PvE version wouldn't be riddled with issues caused by balancing for PvP. And just... It'd be so much better. It has the potential to be so much better.

It's just a shame that bad management has hurt it so much. Patches are introducing new bugs and issues all the time, the people working on it are overworked and there's just not enough quality control present.

I still think it could be brilliant though if they get their shit together.

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