With only six days before Christmas, Gearbox Software still has yet to release the winter update for Battleborn it keeps promising. The company has been talking about the update since at least the 6th. The game originally released on May 3rd of this year and was initially met with strong sales but only slightly above average overall review scores. Still things were looking promising for the new IP from Gearbox until Blizzards new team shooter Overwatch released on the 24th of the same month.
Overwatch had huge momentum coming out of a very successful series of beta test. Though the announcement trailer had been met with the expected amount of vitriol, the proof was clearly in the pudding. The reveal trailer had been mocked for being too bright and colorful, presumably by the same people who have been complaining for the last five years that shooters have all become bland with palettes ranging from sandy brown to concrete gray.
While the games have their similarities they are distinctly different. Overwatch was more in line with games like Valves Team Fortress 2 than it was Battleborn, who itself was more in line with Valves Left 4 Dead franchise. Even with those facts obvious to people in the know, both games released with a sixty US dollar price tag. Most people were not going to buy two similar games and both were best played with friends. So a very short battle of tug of war ensued with friends pulling one another to one game or the other. The battle was very short lived and ultimately Overwatch not only overtook Battleborn but became arguably the biggest release of the year.
For the last month its seemed like Battleborn was gearing up to capture some of those holiday sales with a content update that cleans up some UI issues and unlocks all 25 of the starting hero’s the moment a player finished the tutorial prologue. Seeing how most of Battleborn’s sales are sure to be from Steam I cant help but wonder if its too little to late. Sure Plenty of gamers will get Steam gift cards for Christmas, but if their friends who do have it have still forgotten about it, there are plenty of other releases that are newer and flashier.
Even off Steam, Gearbox will have to compete with other FPS titles that gamers may have been waiting on getting. EA has been making massive pushes to get Titanfall 2 sales up and it has much higher review scores to back it up, along with being a newer release. That game despite glowing praise from all sorts of media outlets released in the middle of franchise giants Battlefield 1 and the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise, which while panned by critic and has almost 3.5 million down votes on its trailer outsold both games handily.
So here we are in the December losers bracket. Battleborn vs Titanfall 2. The winner will be clear in less than a week. At this point my money is on Titanfall 2. but hey instead of working on a new Borderlands which fans have been champing at the bit for, maybe they can start off the new year by working on Battleborn Remastered with extra pre-order character Duke Nukem. Because who the hell doesn’t need to hear some more half assed voice work by Jon St. John.