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Gearbox Boss Thinks Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store Exclusivity Will Change Gaming

Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford thinks that the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal will be the start of a massive change in the gaming industry, according to a series of tweets the president of the company fired off into the void over the course of this past weekend. Pitchford is no stranger to lengthy speeches—anyone familiar with the Borderlands 3 reveal event at PAX East just under a month ago will know that the Gearbox boss has a penchant for saying what’s on his mind.

Borderlands 3 was the center of controversy when it was announced the game would be skipping Valve’s Steam platform for the first six months of its release, with publisher 2K Games deciding to enter into an exclusivity deal with the fledgling Epic Games Store. It’s a big get for Epic, a company with more than enough money to fund a successful digital distribution platform that simply needs major games to choose its service. For Borderlands 3, however, it was a decidedly more middling affair—while some people had no issue with the decision, some decided to review bomb Borderlands 2 while attempting to protest a move that was inexplicably being called unfair.

Related: Borderlands 3 Is An Epic Games Store Exclusive, Releases This September

Pitchford began his weekend tweetstorm by reminding fans that, while he apparently has “some influence” on the process, the choice of Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity ultimately fell to 2K Games. He also wasn’t shy in acknowledging that the Epic Games Store is lacking a number of the features that players find appealing about Steam, but Pitchford then suggested Epic’s roadmap for its online store, while already enticing, was likely not even the entirety of features that will be added over the coming months. With all the caveats out of the way, Pitchford began to illustrate why he believes Steam is no longer the future of gaming, and why Borderlands 3 could be the catalyst in changing the game industry as we know it:

To be fair, Pitchford was not attempting to assert that it was solely the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal that would bring about these changes. Rather, the Gearbox boss was insistent that having major releases like Borderlands 3 as early adopters of Epic’s platform would help bolster it during its most vulnerable periods after launch, helping to establish a legitimate competitor for Steam faster. Essentially, Pitchford is making the extremely compelling argument that competition in any business sector leads to a better environment for consumers, and as Valve scrambles to appeal to developers considering leaving the platform and Epic places a high priority on customer satisfaction, that assertion already seems to be coming true. Of course, in true Pitchford fashion, he couldn’t resist a little dig:

The “brigade” he’s discussing is likely the attempt at tearing down Borderlands on Steam, so it’s fair play to a man whose franchise, which is noted for its high quality and innovative approach to shooters, has been unfairly attacked by those upset with the digital distribution landscape.

As much as Pitchford’s thread can sometimes lose a bit of focus—it’s a lot of tweets all at once—it makes some excellent points about why the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal is probably a good thing for gaming overall. Creating competition will give digital distribution platforms incentive to pass savings on to consumers while constantly tweaking their features and, given what a toxic hellhole Steam has become when it comes to curation policy, it’s hard to imagine things getting worse as a result. We’ll wait and see, but for now, Pitchford’s impassioned speech has made yet another compelling case for the Epic Games Store, even if suggesting the inclusion of Borderlands 3 in its offerings will be a historic turning point in gaming is a pretty bold prediction.

Next: Borderlands 3 Revealed at PAX East 2019, Will Have One Billion Guns

Source: @DuvalMagic



2019-04-17 07:04:07

Cody Gravelle

Borderlands 2 Was Suddenly One of Steam’s Most Played Games

Borderlands 2 has seen a big boost in popularity on the Steam store, becoming one of the most played titles according to some analytical data. This is something of a strange development considering the game was the recent attack of review bombs on Steam due to Gearbox announcing that their upcoming Borderlands 3 would be an Epic Games Store exclusive until 2020.

Borderlands 2 originally released in 2012 and instantly became one of the most popular games in the world. With sales north of 13 million copies sold worldwide, it’s also the most successful game ever for publisher 2K. Its long-awaited sequel, Borderlands 3, was officially revealed at PAX East earlier this year and, should it follow in the footsteps of its predecessor, could prove to be one of the biggest games of the modern era. Still, it looks like Borderlands 2 isn’t ready to go quietly into the night, as the game recently saw a huge boost in players on Steam just months away from the release of Borderlands 3.

Related: Borderlands 3 Won’t Have Troy Baker Back, No One Seems To Know Why

According to GitHyp, which analyzes video game statistics and data, Borderlands 2 was one of the top 5 most played games on the Steam store last week. While it has remained in the top 50 most played games on the store, averaging around 10 thousand concurrent players for years now, its numbers recently shot up to around 60 thousand concurrent players. For comparison, Borderlands 2‘s highest numbers ever on Steam were 124 thousand concurrent players back in September of 2012.

There are a few potential reasons for Borderlands 2‘s sudden boost in popularity. Perhaps the most obvious is Gearbox’s announcement of Borderlands 3, nearly seven years after the release of Borderlands 2. But there’s also the fact that the game was just lowered in price by nearly 75 percent and the release of remastered graphics (completely free of charge) for The Handsome Collection (which packages both Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel together). While these are certainly contributors, it’s still mighty impressive for such an older title to see a 500 percent increase in players, whatever the outside factors are.

Of course, there’s another reason that players could be flocking back to Borderlands 2 in large numbers: the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity outrage. Gearbox’s CEO has defended the move in spite of the growing concerns and complaints by consumers. Perhaps this is the player base showing Gearbox that they’re more than content to play Borderlands 2 until the exclusivity clause ends in 2020. While there’s no way to be certain either way, it’s clear that the game is still popular even years after its original release. It’ll be interesting to see if Borderlands 3 can have similar success when it drops later this year.

More: Borderlands 3 Trailer Teases Return of Fan Favorites

Source: GitHyp


2019-04-17 04:04:21

Corey Hoffmeyer

Borderlands 3 Won’t Have Troy Baker Back, No One Seems To Know Why

Troy Baker, the celebrated voice actor behind The Last of Us‘ Joel and Far Cry 4‘s Pagan Min, is not set to reprise his role as Atlas CEO Rhys in Borderlands 3, despite the fact that neither he nor Gearbox Software seem to know why. Introduced as an original character in Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands before the developer went under, Rhys was present in Borderlands 3‘s reveal trailer at PAX 2019, but fans have since been left to wonder how large of a role the character will play and how strange it may be to hear a different voice coming from his mouth.

Rhys is one of two player-controlled protagonists from the uproarious Tales from the Borderlands, Telltale’s episodic story-based take on the Borderlands series. Considering the irreverent, absurdist humor that Gearbox has injected into their sci-fi loot shooter from the start, it was a match made in heaven, and Tales from the Borderlands quickly grew into a fan favorite. Unfortunately, when Telltale suddenly went belly-up last year, fans of the spin-off were left worrying over whether or not anything from the game would remain canonical in the main series and if the new characters would ever return. These fears were slightly allayed when a mustachioed Rhys was briefly shown off during Borderland 3‘s unveiling last month, but it seems unlikely that it will be the same Rhys that players know and love.

Related: Borderlands Review Bombing Tests Steam’s New Prevention System

Mild controversy was sparked when redditor Josh_J_Anderson posted a video taken at a Supanova Comic Con & Gaming panel featuring Troy Baker, who had been asked if he would return to voice Rhys in Borderlands 3. “I’m sorry to break it to y’all, that isn’t me,” was his answer, stating that he wasn’t fully aware of the character’s return in the upcoming mainline sequel. Baker also said that he’s still fully open to reprising the role if Gearbox will have him despite the fact that he “doesn’t agree with how they’re handling” the situation, but Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford seems to believe that Baker has it backwards. Claiming in a tweet that Baker turned down the role when approached by Borderlands 3‘s audio director, Pitchford answered a fan’s question as to why Baker would not be returning with, “You’ll have to ask Troy.”

Pitchford, who’s no stranger to controversy, went on to proclaim that Baker’s absence won’t majorly impact the character’s feel “with how Rhys appears in the game.” Though he admits players “may disagree” when the game releases in September, it’s fairly likely that Pitchford is alluding to the widely speculated possibility that Borderlands 2 antagonist Handsome Jack has fully overtaken Rhys’ consciousness in Borderlands 3, with a digital backup of Jack’s mind having more or less possessed Rhys during the events of Tales from the Borderlands. It could also just be that Rhys has somehow lost his voice (or maybe just gets straight-up murdered before getting a chance to speak), but the prevailing Handsome Jack theory is by far the most compelling considering that Telltale placed the setup directly into Gearbox’s lap.

No matter the ultimate outcome, Pitchford is right when he says that Borderlands fans will just have to discover Rhys’ fate themselves when the game comes out. With Gearbox having already incited strong backlash among potential PC players after announcing that Borderlands 3 will be an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC, though, upsetting Tales from the Borderlands fans is surely the last thing the developer would want at this point.

Next: Former BioWare GM: Anthem’s Launch Was Tough To Watch

Source: Josh_J_Anderson/Reddit, Randy Pitchford/Twitter



2019-04-12 02:04:40

Phillip Tinner

Borderlands Review Bombing Tests Steam’s New Prevention System

The Borderlands 3 announcement that revealed it would be a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store has lead to a Borderlands 3 review bombing on Steam, which has in turn triggered the first real test of Valve’s new Steam protection policies regarding the consumer practice. Review bombing has been an issue for quite some time now, and has the potential to negatively affect the sales of titles for reasons outside of their quality.

Valve has been getting lambasted for its outdated Steam policies for quite some time. The company recently came under fire for an archaic mode of moderation that saw several offensive games begin to gain traction on Steam, and while some of those games have been addressed, the hands-off approach remains a point of contention for critics of the digital distribution service. It’s no surprise, then, that the Epic Games Store’s launch and subsequent coup of major titles like Metro: Exodus and Borderlands 3 has left Valve in a difficult position, compounded by a user base that is mistreating developers who don’t necessarily have a say in where their title ends up in the first place.

Related: Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store Exclusivity Has Gamers Pretty Mad

The Borderlands 3 review bombing began affecting previous titles in the series earlier this month as a backlash of the announcement that the game would be heading to Epic Games for a timed exclusivity period of six months. Reviewers even admitted during the review bombings that they had played and enjoyed the games but were leaving negative feedback expressly because of the Epic Games partnership. Here’s a sample of what some of that looked like:

Steam’s new policies indicated that Valve had measures in place to prevent these review bombs from occurring. To its credit, the company did manage to address them: it just took a long time and a company review, according to Ars Technica. According to Valve’s Doug Lombardi, here’s what the new process looks like in action, as it has been applied to Borderlands-related games:

After a review of current review activity on Borderlands titles, the decision was made to tag the franchise for off-topic reviews on Steam, effective immediately. As a result, user reviews submitted while the titles are tagged will not count towards the games’ Review Scores. User reviews written during the tagged period will still be accessible and users can choose to include these reviews in the Review Score by changing their preferences.”

While Valve’s system appears to be working now, it’s concerning that the process took so long. According to the company, Steam was supposed to be equipped with a new system that could quickly identify review bombings as they were occurring. That it took a matter of days for the issue to be resolved is an issue for a digital distribution platform that is beginning to look worse now that it has legitimate competition in the Epic Games Store. While Borderlands 3 will be fine—the games affected have already generated most of their revenue, and it’s a major release with a huge fanbase looking forward to it—it’s fair to wonder if Steam will be, too, or if the service is finally being forced to address its many inconsistencies in a way that might overwhelm it rather than improve it.

More: Valve Keeps Getting It Wrong, And It Doesn’t Care

Source: Ars Technica


2019-04-08 09:04:07

Cody Gravelle

Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store Exclusivity Has Gamers Pretty Mad

Borderlands 3 is the latest game to become a target of a subsection of the gaming community thanks to its Epic Games Store exclusivity. A number of Steam loyalists have been review bombing, criticizing, and negatively discussing games that have chosen to opt in to Epic Games Store timed exclusivity deals.

The Epic Games Store was only announced at the tail-end of last year during The Game Awards 2018, but it has quickly gained steam in the interim. One of the digital distribution platform’s first major coups was getting Metro: Exodus to jump ship mid-pre-release period, an act that not coincidentally also spurned on the first real outrage reaction from some of the PC gaming community. The debate has, for some reason, continued to rage on about whether or not the Epic Games Store is a healthy addition to an online market that was previously almost entirely monopolized by Steam. The Epic Games Store also takes a significantly smaller cut from developers for hosting their games, making it an attractive platform for studios.

Related: Borderlands 3 Is An Epic Games Store Exclusive, Releases This September

Earlier this week, developer Gearbox Studios and publisher 2K announced that Borderlands 3 would be an Epic Games Store exclusive for six months following its release, and the response from some fans has been notably vicious. The backlash surrounding that announcement has been characterized by Steam fans using social media and gaming forums to post negative responses to the decision, including images that supposedly showcase why Borderlands 3 should be on Steam instead of the Epic Games Store. Tweets like this one have become popular amongst those who are against the decision:

The backlash has been so noticeable that the CEO of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford, took to Twitter to provide more context on why the studio decided to go with the Epic Games Store; or, more accurately, why the studio didn’t really have a say at all:

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear like Pitchford’s explanation managed to sway those who have been adamantly looking for ways to tank Borderlands‘ reputation as a result of the studio’s perceived slight against Valve and its supporters. A tweet following Borderlands 2‘s review reputation on Steam had some troubling revelations:

These criticisms aren’t entirely unfounded. The Epic Games Store has had some issues with its services during the first few months of its launch, and Epic Games is actively looking to add more features as they become needed. It’s very much a fledgling digital distribution platform that has things that need to be ironed out as it grows, and that can be jarring when compared to Steam’s service, which has been refined over many years.

Still, crusades like this hardly seem fair. Ultimately, the Borderlands 3 situation tells outsiders a lot about what the gaming industry’s landscape currently looks like, and little of it is pretty. Fans are willing to defend a digital distribution service that has come under heavy fire for a number of troubling policies in the past simply because they might need to download a different installer and launcher to play Gearbox’s newest title. On top of that, it’s yet another reminder that user-based reviews are becoming impossible to trust online, as one small decision from a studio can end in a crusade from angered consumers that tanks its games’ scores.

More: Borderlands 3 Revealed at PAX East 2019, Will Have One Billion Guns

Source: Twitter (2, 3) (via Comicbook.com)



2019-04-05 03:04:55

Cody Gravelle

Borderlands Goes Tabletop With Tiny Tina’s Robot Tea Party

While most of the eager attendees at the recent PAX East Gearbox Studios conference were likely there to catch a glimpse at the latest entry in the Borderlands franchise, Borderlands 3, one of the other big announcements of the day was the upcoming Borderlands tabletop game.

This isn’t quite the usual Borderlands fare, but it’s interesting to see one of the many directions in which the franchise is evolving. With the announcement of Borderlands VR getting all the existing DLC for the game this summer and the Handsome Collection getting a bunch of graphics quality updates for those who already own it, the Borderlands tabletop game announcement is the icing on the cake for series fans.

Related: Borderlands 3 Trailer Teases Return of Fan Favorites

The official website for the Borderlands tabletop game — Tiny Tina‘s Robot Tea Party — notes that the product was created in collaboration with XYZ Game Labs and Gearbox. This game is apparently based around building your own Claptrap and outfitting them with accessories perfect for the ultimate robot tea party. One of the mechanics appears to involve dumpster diving and using abilities to stop your opponents and their robots from clinching the coveted guest of honor spot by completing their Claptrap first. The game can currently be purchased at the XYZ Game Labs booth on the Pax East show floor (booth #244110), or pre-ordered from the website.

The fact that the Borderlands tabletop game is now available for purchase is pretty impressive, considering that it was announced only a day ago. There’s clearly been a lot of effort put into it, and it’s been kept under wraps for quite some time so players aren’t actually quite sure what to expect in practice outside of what was shown off at the presentation. Card tricks aside, it does truly look like a fun romp into the world of Tiny Tina’s mind.

With no official Borderlands 3 release date, it looks like fans are going to have to tide themselves over with this Borderlands tabletop game and the remasters of the existing titles until we learn more about what other products Gearbox has been working on with regards to the series. That being said, the PAX East presentation mentioned that there would be additional information made available on 3 April. There’s plenty of time between now and then to have a stellar tea party with Tiny Tina.

More: Borderlands 3 Revealed at PAX East 2019, Will Have One Billion Guns

Source: Tiny Tina’s Tea Party official website


2019-03-29 12:03:15

Ginny Woo

The Borderlands Games Are Getting Major Updates Next Week

Veteran Vault Hunters and franchise newcomers who are hyped for Borderlands 3 but can’t help but find the older Borderlands titles a little too harsh on the eyes are in luck, as remasters of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition are giving the original games a major graphical update. Best of all, they’ll be releasing simultaneously less than a week after their reveal.

For those wanting to rediscover why Gearbox Software’s Borderlands series is one of the most lauded looter shooters out there, or simply for those looking to get their genre fix on the lead-up to Borderland 3‘s inevitable launch after its grand unveiling yesterday at PAX 2019, the upcoming visual overhauls of The Handsome Collection and the first Borderlands will bring the aged titles up to today’s 4K standard. Beloved by the gaming community for its raucous sense of humor, unique art style, and engaging gameplay loop, Borderlands fans have been given quite a lot to get excited about over the past 24 hours.

Related: Anthem Needs To Learn From FFXIV And Tear It All Down

Trailers for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Ultra HD and Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition can be found below, and they demonstrate the impressive upgrades made to the original BorderlandsBorderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, all of which now support 4K textures and a number of additional visual improvements. Releasing on April 3, improvements present in The Handsome Collection Ultra HD, already previously available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, will be provided to current owners of the original Handsome Collection at no additional charge. Meanwhile, Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition is making its current-generation console debut, but current PC owners of the game will similarly be able to upgrade to the remaster for free.

In addition to being enhanced for the 4K-capable Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, these re-releases will contain the entirety of the three games’ large libraries of downloadable content, including Borderland 2‘s critically acclaimed Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage and Tiny Tina‘s Assault on Dragon Keep. Considering the amount of content on offer in each product and that The Handsome Collection currently retails at $60 while console versions of Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition have been listed at $30, these remastered editions will be a fairly cost-effective way of experiencing everything the franchise has to offer so far. Sadly, neither The Handsome Collection nor Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition will come with Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands, meaning that the choice-driven take on the series will remain locked out of the exclusive 4K party.

Somewhere along the road between The Division 2‘s repetitive excellence and Anthem‘s glaring missteps, fans of looter shooters may no doubt be feeling some sense of fatigue, disappointment, or both with respect to the genre. However, the overwhelmingly positive response to the rapid-fire reveal of these remasters and Borderlands 3 points to the possibility that Destiny-inspired shared world looter shooters are lacking in what players love most about Borderlands: good, old-fashioned co-op fun and oh-so-many guns.

More: The Division 2: 20 Hidden Locations Only Experts Found

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Ultra HD and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC this April 3.

Source: Borderlands


2019-03-29 07:03:21

Phillip Tinner

BORDERLANDS 3 Official Trailer (2019) Blockbuster Game HD



BORDERLANDS 3 Official Trailer (2019) Blockbuster Game HD
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2019-03-28 19:05:49

Borderlands 3 Revealed at PAX East 2019, Will Have One Billion Guns

Gearbox Studios finally announced Borderlands 3 at PAX East 2019 after a month of teases and a trailer that indicated it would be coming shortly, and over one billion guns will be included. The studio capped a one hour presentation with the reveal of an official trailer for the new game.

Borderlands 3 was first teased with a tweet that heavily indicated the game would be heading to PAX East, with a sign that indicated a Boston destination and a number of references to ‘three’ present within the announcement. Yesterday, the game was hinted at again, this time with a brand new Borderlands 3 trailer that seemed to all but confirm the existence of the title. Finally, Gearbox Studios took to the PAX East stage and made it official.

Related: Borderlands 3 Reveal Teased For PAX East

Borderlands 3 was announced with a trailer that features both gameplay and story elements. It showcases what appears to be a team of four entirely new Vault Hunters, two new villains who appear to be riffs on Handsome Jack in appearance, and a number of locations on Pandora that are famous, alongside some that are new. The game features vehicle combat, the same over-the-top guns and powers that have made it famous, and the return of several characters that fans adore, including Brick, Tiny Tina, Ellie, and the Sirens.

The trailer also unveiled a number of new enemies, ranging from fire-breathing dinosaurs to mechs that look like a cross between the shredders of Warcraft and Gundam suits. In classic Borderlands style, the trailer also features Brick hitting a saxophone solo for no other reason than the fact that he can. Hyperion seems to be heavily involved in the story, as evidenced by the villains’ uniforms, and the game will also feature a frankly absurd number of guns: one billion, to be exact, including some that walk on their own.

What the presentation didn’t unveil was the release date for Borderlands 3, although the description of the video on YouTube suggests that fans should check back for more info on April 3, 2019. That’s only less than a week away, and Gearbox head Randy Pitchford stated that the team had been working on Borderlands 3 for five years. Given that information, it would be no surprise if the game was ready for release later this year, although we’ll have to wait and see. Until then, fans of the series will be ecstatic to know that a return to the world of Pandora – and all the ridiculousness present there – is coming soon.

More: Elon Musk’s Flamethrower May Get Added To The Next Borderlands Game

Source: Gearbox Official


2019-03-28 12:03:46

Cody Gravelle

Borderlands 3 Reveal Teased For PAX East

Borderlands 3 appears to be heading to PAX East. A tweet from developer Gearbox Software teased that the heavily anticipated next entry into the Borderlands series will finally be revealed at the end of the month, when the industry gathers for the PAX East convention in Boston, Massachusetts.

Fans want Borderlands 3, even if there hasn’t been much information regarding its existence in quite some time. Most of the information about the potential sequel is simply about where it won’t be, with fans disappointed by Borderlands 3 not being at E3 2018 and then scared by the possibility the game might have been delayed by Take-Two, its publisher, until at least 2020. While fans aren’t even sure what would be getting delayed at this point, since details have been so scarce the game could very well not exist at all, it feels as though everyone, including the game’s developers, are operating under the assumption a sequel is a matter of when, not if.

Related: Elon Musk’s Flamethrower May Get Added To The Next Borderlands Game

Now, it appears we have an official date for when Borderlands 3 will finally see the light of day. Gearbox Software will host a panel at PAX East on March 28 from 2-3pm EST, and it has been described as featuring “never-before-seen reveals, exclusives, and surprises.” That alone was enough to incite speculation about a Borderlands sequel, but then Gearbox tweeted this earlier today:

While the developer could make the argument the advertisement is simply a nod toward the conference it’s hosting, there are several details that all but confirm we’re finally getting a look at Borderlands 3. The sign says “Exit 3,” while the tweet was made exactly at 3pm. The advertisement is also done in classic Borderlands style, a combination of cel-shading and post-apocalyptic aesthetic that would be right at home in an animated adaptation of the Mad Max series.

If this really is the announcement of Borderlands 3, then it’s been far too long a wait. In 2017, studio head Randy Pitchford said that somewhere around 90% of the company’s employees were hard at work on the next Borderlands game. Later that year, Pitchford also showed off images of what looked like a new Borderlands at a conference at GDC, though nothing came from either of those stories. Take-Two has also been playing coy about 2K’s “highly anticipated title” from a major franchise for the better part of a few years.

Borderlands 3 couldn’t have picked a better window of time to show up, either. As a loot-based shooter with massive amounts of good will from fans, it seems perfectly positioned to snatch all the hype players had for Anthem and use it to fuel months of anticipation ahead of what appears, by all accounts and rumors, to be a release date in 2020.

More: Borderlands Movie Characters & Director Possibly Revealed

Source: @GearboxOfficial

2019-03-12 01:03:59

Cody Gravelle