Borderlands 3 is out next month, and it’s one of the most anticipated games of the year. Despite a slight amount of confusion earlier in the year regarding microtransactions there will be cosmetic DLC in the game, but otherwise Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford’s comments about there being no “free-to-play kind of stuff” in Borderlands 3 has rung true so far.
However, we wanted to be sure. We spoke to Borderlands 3 producer Chris Brock at Gamescom to address one thorny topic in particular – loot boxes and whether they would feature in the game, perhaps as a way of getting those cosmetic microtransactions.
Brock confirmed that Borderlands 3 would not have loot boxes at all. While he admits that “there are genres and there are games where loot boxes work”, adding “I can understand that sentiment in a free to play game, it makes sense.” However, regarding the lack of loot boxes within Borderlands 3, Brock says they’re not in the game because they don’t “feel like a Borderlands thing”.
“We don’t do them in our games,” he says. “I’m not saying we’ll never do them in any games ever, but it doesn’t feel like a Borderlands thing.” According to Brock, Gearbox doesn’t even think of monetization methods like that, and just goes with what fits the game. “I think we tend to lead with the shooter/RPG aspect of it.”
Brock also spoke about the rumours about Borderlands 3 before it was officially revealed, where a lot of players were expecting the worst – including for it to be either riddled with loot boxes and microtransaction, or even be a Fortnite clone. “People were like ‘I bet its a mobile game, I bet its a battle royale game’. They were expecting everything but Borderlands 3.”
“There was this assumption that we were going to adopt a lot of the modern trends,” he continues. Instead, Gearbox is “actually making exactly the thing they want us to make, we’re making a full-featured Borderlands game.” Brock even suggests that there was pressure to make the game more like Destiny or Fortnite, but Gearbox didn’t want to do that. “The games industry wanted to zig, and we wanted to zag.”
“If we’re going to come back after being away for so long, let’s come back with something generous and familiar. Don’t feed into that cynicism.”