UPDATE: Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has commented on the story saying “I was just told about a reckless story about Battleborn going F2P that is false. There are no plans to convert Battleborn free to play.”
Original Story: Battleborn is one of the sadder tales in gaming this year. Launching at exactly the wrong time, the Gearbox developed MOBA-styled shooter hit just days before the mega-hit Overwatch. With similar gameplay and character styling, Battleborn was drowned out, and while it received decent critical praise, the game has floundered lately. Dropping player numbers and a perpetually lowering price point has led to many rumors about a possible switch to the free-to-play model that has been so successful for Evolve. Today those rumors got some meat to them with Kotaku reporting that an anonymous source says that Battleborn is going free-to-play soon.
Actually, according to the source, Battleborn was always meant to be a free-to-play game. Publisher 2K is said to be the cause of the standard $60 price point at launch. This likely led to some of the sales woes the game has had, as it had little to push it beyond the Borderlands pedigree that it almost specifically avoided banking on.
Going free-to-play certainly makes sense for Battleborn, with the game leaning heavily on gameplay and DLC models that fit with other popular F2P titles. New DLC has already been announced, so the choice to go F2P should come soon, to avoid causing more frustration for players who has put money down on the game. If 2K handles this similar to other F2P transitions, those players will receive some kind of reward for their early dollars.