Gearbox Software: Don’t Call ‘Battleborn’ a MOBA

By | 2 years ago 

Earlier this week, former Borderlands developer Gearbox Software unveiled their next big project, Battleborn. The debut included some early screenshots/box art for the game, a brief video, and some general details about the gameplay.

But, before Gearbox could even say more about the game, many had already labeled Battleborn a first person MOBA, or multiplayer online battle arena game. Think League of Legends or Dota 2.

However, as it turns out, Gearbox Software isn’t so keen on the MOBA classification for Battleborn; in fact, they don’t consider the game to be a MOBA at all. Rather, they see Battleborn as a cooperative/competitive first person shooter that draws from many different genres…including MOBAs.

Where most people see the MOBA connections in Battleborn is with the objective-based gameplay that features both player-controlled and AI combatants. Additionally, the first mode unveiled, Incursion, features very MOBA-esque gameplay, in that two teams are trying to destroy each other’s base. However, as the devs point out in the interview below, those ideas aren’t necessarily unique to MOBAs — just look at Titanfall for example.

What Gearbox wants to do is take ideas from games that they enjoy and even from some games they have developed in the past, and evolve those concepts to suit a modern audience. For example, fast action, variety in combat, and unique modes were just a few of the concepts the Gearbox devs seem to stress in their interview with Game Informer — three qualities that players wouldn’t necessarily attribute to the typical MOBA. It’s a little reductive, but the developers seem most comfortable with calling Battleborn a first person shooter, which makes sense given their familiarity with the genre.

So, is Battleborn a MOBA? In some respects it is, but from a broader perspective, Gearbox seems to prefer the term cooperative shooter with online competition. But since we’ve only seen such a small slice of the game, it’s hard not to see those comparisons. Moreover, we know very little about this next-gen game in the grand scheme of things, specifically with regards to the campaign. Although the developers do tease replayability and short-burst gameplay a la an online multiplayer experience.

Perhaps as the Battleborn promotional tour continues — it’s Game Informer’s cover story for August — we will learn enough about the game to form a clearer opinion. For now, we have some broad details from Gearbox and a pretty cool-looking trailer. Oh, and we won’t refer to the game as a MOBA from here on out.

How do you classify Battleborn? Do you still see Battleborn as a MOBA more than anything else?

Source: Game Informer

Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina