UPDATE as of 7:02 PM EST 9/29/2016:
A tweet by Randy Pitchford, (@DuvalMagic on Twitter) confirmed that the rumor a source told Kotaku was false. The tweet read, “I was just told about a reckless story about Battleborn going F2P that is false. There are no plans to convert Battleborn free to play.”
Free-to-play was actually the business model that Gearbox wanted from the start, according to the source. It added that it was publisher 2k’s decision to offer it as a $60 game. The game came out in May and experienced a period of decent sales, outpacing the original Borderlands over a comparable period of time, according to Gearbox. However, parent publisher Take-Two said the game ultimately underperformed.
In February, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said Battleborn represented the company’s “biggest investment” ever, calling the game a “big bet. “We’ve invested more than Borderlands 1 and 2 added together into Battleborn,” he said at the time. “And we don’t even know if people will be interested or not.”
Battleborn did not stay full price for long, as it was discounted for $40 just weeks after launch. The game is currently $20 on Amazon.
Gearbox has supported Battleborn just as it has with Borderlands games in the past, with new content including hero characters and maps, which are free. Gearbox also has plans for more extra content in the future. The game also has microtransactions available.
Kotaku’s source has also added, as a final note that Gearbox may offer a reward of some kind to existing Battleborn players when the game switches to a free-to-play model.
The source also stated that 2k was encouraged to switch Battleborn to a free-to-play model after another one of its games, Evolve, did so and saw a significant increase in players as a result.