2K has announced that Gearbox's lethally underplayed MOBA Battleborn is finally going to be shut down. The sunsetting process has already begun – the game has been delisted from all digital storefonts across all platforms – and continues this coming February with the removal of purchaseable premium currency. The game becomes unplayable in January 2021 when its servers come offline completely. That means eager achievement hunters only have a year to get as much as they can from the Battleborn achievements list before they are unobtainable for good – all of them require an online connection to the game's servers, even though the game has a single-player mode.
The official Battleborn twitter account took the time to appreciate fan support over the years in which Battleborn has languished. It's hard to say that it has fought for survival since its launch in 2016, given that all planned future content was scrapped just a year after its release. But clearly there was still some amount of work being put into the game to keep it maintained, and now that effort needs to go elsewhere. Presumably the launch and success of Borderlands 3 has given Gearbox a good reason to move on from their failed MOBA project.
Fans on Twitter are calling for the game's PvE and split-screen modes to be released as an offline version, but 2K have confirmed that Battleborn won't be playable "in any way" after January 2021. This news has once again raised the discussion of historic preservation in video game culture – thanks to the game only existing as an online product, many fans are lamenting that all of that hard artistic work is going to vanish forever.
Battleborn features a lot of DLC achievements as part of its Season Pass. That Pass has also been removed from digital stores, though we presume that it may still be available to purchase in-game using Battleborn's Platinum virtual currency. The Pass is reportedly 4200 Platinum to purchase, which according to the latest prices on Battleborn's Platinum Packs would cost players about $25. Again, this premium currency is being taken from sale in February 2020, so if you consider DLC counts towards your 100% completion and you want to get it, you need to make sure you have the DLC purchased in the next couple of months – or be prepared for a significant grind to earn enough Platinum in-game to pay for it before the whole thing shuts down in 2021. There's no word on whether the Season Pass content will be made free for players hanging for the game's final year, but given that the publisher are happily to keep taking money on the Platinum currency for the next two months, we suspect that this won't happen.
2K have clarified on an announcement post that nothing else is being taken offline immediately following the removal of Platinum from the in-game store; Platinum itself can still be earned in a trickle from gameplay progression, DLC will still be available for purchase for those with Platinum to spare, and all modes will still be available for play until January 2021.
Will the completion be possible for those who want to give it a go before the servers close in 2021? It's hard to say, as a lot will rely on the stability of the server connection until that time and the available player base. Of course the first obstacle is the fact that the game has already been removed from digital stores – if you really want to go for it still, you can get physical editions from Amazon UK and Amazon US for pretty cheap, or search your local second-hand options. There are some decent guides on even the base game's hardest achievement, and several commenters have mentioned that the requirements have been relaxed a fair bit further than the original descriptions. However you look at it, Battleborn's estimated completion time is 200+ hours before players even hit the DLC.
If you want to give this a go, we strongly recommend getting groups together for online sessions using our Battleborn gaming sessions tool. You can seek out scheduled sessions on this page, or create your own.
Thanks to MetaGame for the heads-up on this story.
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