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Borderlands 3 will not be preloadable

(Image credit: Future)
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It's common practice for digital storefronts like Steam to provide a "preload" period ahead of a game's release, so that the moment it goes live, hot-to-trot fans can dive face-first into it immediately rather than having to wait for it to download. (It also helps keep those hot-to-trot fans from demolishing servers as they all try to download it at precisely the same moment.) For the upcoming Borderlands 3, however, that's not going to be an option.

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What's surprising in this is that "Enable Pre-loading" is actually marked as being enabled in the EGS roadmap on Trello, which says that Epic "released pre-load functionality to 3rd party games on the store" in May. So what's the deal? Epic boss Tim Sweeney described the situation as "complicated."

"We've released support for file preloading which is sufficient for some games, but we aren't certain it's up to the demands of a blockbuster like Borderlands," he tweeted. 

But then to complicate things further, he expressed confidence that Epic's servers will be up to the task of handling the crush of excited Borderlanders who will all be smashing their "download now!" buttons simultaneously when BL3 goes live.

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A number of people responding to Sweeney's tweet have expressed doubt about his explanation, but if Epic is willing to take a high-profile PR hit on what should be one of its biggest releases yet—because you know this is going to come up repeatedly between now and the Borderlands 3 launch on September 13, every time someone asks when preloading starts—then I'm inclined to think that the concerns he cited have to be serious. I've reached out to Epic for more information and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.