Current Video Game Statistics for the Current-Gen Gamer
Borderlands 2 Save
Gearbox Software and 2K Games’ controversial decision to release Borderlands 3 exclusively on the Epic Games Store might have upset PC gamers when announced last week, but that’s not stopping plenty of fans from returning to the 2012 loot shooter, Borderlands 2, and boosting it back into Steam’s top 5 most played games.
Considered the best in the series, Borderlands 2 has remained in Steam’s top 50 most played games since its release seven years ago, averaging just under 10k concurrent players each month over the past few years.
And this past weekend, the sequel’s player counts exploded with a peak of 60k concurrent players – just shy of half the game’s all-time peak of 124k players from back in September 2012.
Borderlands 2’s recent 500% increase in players can be attributed to The Handsome Collection (which includes BL2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and all bonus add-on content) being discounted by 74% on Steam, new remastered graphics options just being released for free, and of course, all of the headlines Borderlands 3 has been making as of late.
But while the past week has been great for Borderlands 2, Gearbox’s new exclusive BL3 deal with Epic (that GitHyp predicted weeks ago) has cast a shadow over its comeback. And as a result, many upset PC gamers have resorted to review bombing Borderlands games on Steam to let the publishers know they’re not happy with the recent exclusive deal.
Ironically, Gearbox’s CEO, Randy Pitchford, has used the recent negative reviews as a reason he’s happy to have signed an exclusive deal with Epic… adding more fuel to the fire... and failing to realize that Valve’s latest update to Steam’s customer review system has actually helped Gearbox by preventing the influx of negative reviews from impacting Borderlands 2’s “Overwhelmingly Positive” score.
With Borderlands 3 launching on September 13, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Epic’s Store, we won’t know exactly how the game’s exclusivity impacts the game’s player base for a while. Based off the recent resurgence of BL2, it’s safe to say that BL3 will likely top BL2’s peak player count when it launches on Steam sometime in early 2020.Steam counters Borderlands 1 and 2 review-bombingApr 6, 2019 - EurogamerSteam's new anti-review bombing measures appear to be working. Borderlands 1 and 2 suffered review-bombing on Steam after 2K announced Borderlands 3 will be a six-month timed exclusive on the Epic Games store. But Valve's new anti-review bombing measures have kicked in, and these "off-topic" reviews are excluded from the review score by default. Read more Borderlands games reload with updated art and featuresApr 3, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun There ain’t no rest for the wicked, a video game once told me, and Gearbox Software certainly have been busy. Today they launched remastered versions of Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, coming to PC as free updates. They’re all prettied-up a bit, while the first game also now includes all the DLC as well as features borrowed from later games in the looter-shooter series. These updates are probably more for the benefit of the latest consoles, jazzing ’em up for a fresh audience before Borderlands 3 hits in September, but hey we benefit too. Thanks, Ian Microsoft and Ian Sony! (more…) There’s a High Chance Borderlands 3 Could Be an Epic Games Store Exclusive (If It’s Revealed in 2 Weeks)Mar 13, 2019 - GitHyp
Yesterday, Gearbox posted a cryptic message on Twitter teasing a big announcement in just two weeks on March 28. And so far, all signs (literally) seem to be pointing to the reveal of Borderlands 3 at PAX East.
With gamers recently voicing their frustration over EA and Bioware’s troubled launch of Anthem and often citing Borderlands as a shining example of how developers should properly make a loot shooter, now is without question the perfect time for Gearbox to jump back into the spotlight.
But with most fans getting caught up in the excitement of Borderlands 3 finally being revealed, many PC gamers are beginning to worry that the game could become another Epic Games exclusive…
Something that’s highly possible, considering Gearbox teamed up with Epic at the end of 2017 to bring the physical version of Fortnite to stores for $59.99 (before the game exploded in popularity as a free-to-play battle royale).
With the last Borderlands game using Epic's Unreal Engine 3, BL3 will most likely be on UE4. And in doing so, Epic would cover the 5% royalty fee on their store that Gearbox would have to otherwise pay on Steam. This would result in a 35%/65% split in revenue on Steam compared to a very enticing 12%/88% currently being offered by Epic.
This also wouldn’t be the first time that Gearbox made an exclusive deal using the Borderlands brand. Just last December, Gearbox upset PC gamers by teasing Borderlands 2 in VR, only to then reveal it as a PlayStation VR exclusive that could eventually come to PC at some point in 2019.
Around that same time in December 2018, Gearbox's CEO, Randy Pitchford, also made multiple comments on Twitter that hinted at a potential new deal with Epic, saying, “I am excited to support the Epic Games Store” followed by, “Their leadership on this front is welcome and due.”
(I’ve been asked a lot about it today. To add more color: Our friends at Epic are great people who care about the health of our industry and the value of creators big and small. Their leadership on this front is welcome and due.)— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) December 5, 2018
Pitchford's comments went mostly unnoticed, until just two days ago when a user replied to what he said back in December, resulting in a new reply from Pitchford that has also gone unnoticed and should have Steam users worried: "Who cares which store you get your games from?"
What’s wrong with that? A PC is a PC - who cares which store you get your games from? I’m just curious to learn the mind-set. I am a customer on lots of different PC platforms.— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) March 12, 2019
After the disappointing launches of Aliens: Colonial Marines and Battleborn, and even allegedly being scammed out of millions of dollars himself, Gearbox and their CEO are often finding themselves surrounded by controversy. And after after so many financial problems, Gearbox could now be in the position to easily be courted by Epic.
Although Pitchford’s comments seem to be very pro-Epic as of late, Borderlands 2 still ranks among Steam’s top 50-100 games, with peaks of over 10k concurrent players at times, despite being released almost 7 years ago.
Hopefully, the long tail found with Steam’s loyal player base is enough to keep it on Steam and we'll see Borderlands 3 released simultaneously on all platforms (whenever it actually launches). But with Microsoft also revealing yesterday that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is coming soon to Steam, Epic is surely looking to keep up their current momentum by stealing another one of Steam’s most played franchises like Borderlands.