Despite its recent release, Gearbox Software’s Battleborn is performing poorly among PC players using Steam, and is being outperformed by Borderlands 2.
Battleborn, Gearbox’s first attempt at targeting the massive multiplayer online battle arena game audience isn’t performing as well as they may have hoped, at least with PC players. According to new data, Battleborn is struggling to compete with another Gearbox game: Borderlands 2.
Steam DB, a website that actively tracks what Steam users are doing during any given time period, has revealed that twice the number of PC gamers are playing Gearbox’s Borderlands 2 in comparison to Battleborn. This is particularly significant given that Borderlands 2 came out nearly four years ago, and Battleborn released less than a month ago. For comparison’s sake, Battleborn had 3,972 players at its peak during a 24-hour period at the time of this writing, while the massively-popular leading MOBA Dota 2 has had over one million players. In its current standing, Battleborn is barely netting more players than games like Total War: Shogun 2 and Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies, while the 6-year-old Left 4 Dead 2 is crushing it with nearly three time the number of peak players.
While the Steam DB statistic doesn’t provide any clues as to how Battleborn is performing with console players, this is a critical time for Battleborn to perform well, as it’s competing against the similarly-flashy shooter Overwatch from Blizzard. While the gameplay mechanics are somewhat different between the two titles, the hype generated by Overwatch‘s beta wasn’t matched by Battleborn.
Gearbox is clearly aware of the threat that Overwatch poses to Battleborn, as it discounted Battleborn when Overwatch released. However, a simple price drop may not be enough to provide a boost following Battleborn‘s mediocre reviews. In addition, gamers who may have been interested in playing both games may have chosen to hold off on trying Battleborn simply because the two games were releasing so close to one another.
Overwatch only released today, so time will tell if the game manages to keep a larger amount of players involved than Battleborn has been able to. In any case, Overwatch has arguably had a larger media and partnership push prior to its release, with merch tie-ins at Taco Bell and even Conan O’Brien playing Overwatch with Game of Thrones stars.
Gearbox could potentially still turn Battleborn‘s fate around, if it can create worthwhile content that appeals to new players and keeps them coming back. In any case, it’s clear that Borderlands 2 has managed to maintain lasting popularity among PC gamers. With Gearbox teasing Borderlands 3, they’re sure to have another hit on their hands, even if Battleborn doesn’t manage to become a success.
Battleborn is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: Steam DB