Battleborn came out swinging hard against Overwatch, but it caught a hard right to the jaw at about the eight second mark of the first round, after Blizzard decided to launch the Overwatch open beta two days after Battleborn released. But even though Blizzard has hit a record quarter (opens in new tab) on the back of Overwatch's success, Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive, said the company isn't giving up on it.
Zelnick acknowledged during Take-Two's most recent financial call, reported by Eurogamer, that Battleborn “launched to solid reviews” but failed to sell to expectations. Even so, “We think there remains an opportunity to grow the audience for this unique experience over time, and 2K will continue to drive engagement and recurrent consumer spending on the title through add-on content and virtual currency,” he said.
“Solid” is actually a very apt description of our review's conclusions: Not perfect, but a good start and with plenty of potential for future improvements. Zelnick didn't get into what the immediate future holds for the game, but 2K Games—Take-Two is 2K's parent company—announced a couple of weeks ago that three new maps were on the way in the next update, along with new broadcaster tools for streamers and video makers. Earlier this summer, developer Gearbox also enabled microtransactions through the addition of Platinum in-game currency, and a couple of new characters have been added as well.
2K can also take hope from the example set by Evolve, which after months of having one foot in the grave staged a comeback as Evolve Stage 2. In June, it was barely able to maintain a concurrent player count of 100; its peak over the past 24 hours was in excess of 11,000. That's not to suggest that Battleborn will, or should, make the shift to free-to-play, but it is worth bearing in mind that both of these games are published by 2K.
“We're being very frank about where we are, because we're a transparent company," Zelnick said. "We're still delivering new content to Battleborn. Audiences love Battleborn. We still have virtual currency coming for Battleborn. We're not counting it out for a minute. We're just telling you where we're at now."