Borderlands has become a household name among gamers worldwide thanks to the series' unique artistic style and co-op gameplay. Developer Gearbox Software has been hard at work growing the franchise, releasing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC earlier this year and partnering with Telltale Games to release the first episode of Tales From the Borderlands a few weeks ago.
Publisher 2K Games has another surprise for Borderlands fans, though currently only for those fans living in China. The publisher, along with Shanda Games, an online game developer and publisher, unveiled Borderlands Online - an MMORPG set in the Borderlands universe coming to China in 2015.
Turning Borderlands into an MMORPG in China is a good move for 2K Games. The game will very likely be a "free-to-play" style game, as gamers in China have a strong track record of making free-to-play games successful. Earlier this year, Activision released an open beta of Call of Duty Online, a free-to-play micro transaction version of Call of Duty that's similar to Modern Warfare and Black Ops.
Silmilar to Call of Duty Online, Shanda Games and 2K Games will start by launching closed beta of Borderlands Online in early 2015. Gamers can sign up for the “Pandora Immigration Program” on the official site for a chance to participate in the beta. Players who make it into the beta will have the opportunity to explore Pandora and some of the storyline associated with the MMORPG.
The gameplay and open world concept of Borderlands helps make the transition to an MMORPG smooth for the franchise. In fact, some are surprised the series hasn't made the jump sooner. A successful MMORPG has solid character progression, a strong loot system, opportunities for individual and group missions and raids, and a good inventory setup. Borderlands already delivers in each of these areas for the most part.
Borderlands Online will introduce new classes and regions to Pandora and the series alongside a plethora of new weapons and other gear. There are also sure to be microtransactions available to players within the game as well.
As of right now, Borderlands Online has been announced only for PC and mobile devices. There is currently no word about when (or even if) the game will make its way West.
Do you think a Borderlands MMORPG will be successful? Would you play it if it expanded beyond China? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.