On January 31, 2021, Battleborn was shut down forever. 2K Games originally planned to take it offline on the 25th, but they gave players another week after a delay hit. Now though, the game is totally unplayable. Even if, like me, you own a physical copy of this game, you can’t play it at all. That’s because the game was entirely based online. Even the single-player component, which didn’t need to involve other players, is inaccessible without the servers to support it. While I’m not terribly sad the game is gone, I do think it’s a sad moment for the industry that the title didn’t manage to identify with anyone.
Battleborn launched in 2016, and I purchased the best edition possible. I got all the characters and got to work leveling them up. The game was a crazy mix of what Overwatch and League of Legends offer. There were multiplayer battles for players to compete in as various heroes, and those heroes had to be leveled up within a match in order to access their best abilities. You could also fight through the single-player campaign with these characters, leveling them up as you went.
For console gamers, this was a big departure from the norm. It didn’t really hit home, and those who wanted a MOBA played League of Legends instead. Even when the game went free-to-play, it just didn’t take. I think the title had some real potential, but it was ruined by the paywalls for characters and the lack of support from 2K Games. Continuous updates would have made the game so much better, but there didn’t seem to be anything coming.
Now we have games like Overwatch and Valorant which have become full eSports of their own. That’s what 2K Games wanted to do with Battleborn. It’s really too bad that the game has to be totally shut down. I would have liked to be able to log in and play it every now and then. Unfortunately, that’s not sustainable for any developer or publisher. So one last time, pick up your copy of the game, and then put it somewhere safe for a few years. It’s a collector’s item now.