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Borderlands 3 hits Steam – why did it take this long?

We waited 7 years, what's another 6 months?

Borderlands 3’s Epic Games exclusivity is finally over as of today. And to celebrate, Gearbox and 2K have set Borderlands 3 at half price on Steam. They’ve obviously done this purely as a celebratory measure, right? Well… maybe.

Fans weren’t exactly thrilled

Gearbox and 2K have been in hot water since the reveal of the exclusivity contract. They had their reasons for doing it, and I can’t say I necessarily blame them from a business standpoint. They’ve handled things fairly well, earning back any lost goodwill with their handling of the game itself.

They’ve made the game cross-compatible between Epic Games and Steam. So at least on that front, friends looking to play together won’t run into any problems. Where problems really start, is six months ago with the Epic Games contract. 

Borderlands 3 on Steam

Fans were eagerly awaiting the newest installment in the Borderlands franchise. But they found that a massive part of the PC player base would need to sign up for, and install a brand new launcher for just one game. That said, I like the Epic Games Launcher. It runs kinda poorly, and can be slow at times to start up, but they do give out two free games every month, and they aren’t bad games either. I got the whole Batman Arkham series as well as games like Costume Quest and Superhot.

Gamers hate exclusivity, but they especially hate Epic Games

On paper it doesn’t sound like a big issue, but many people see it as an unnecessary obstacle. Many players – certainly people in my circle – originally saw it as a make-or-break situation, not even wanting to touch the Epic launcher, electing to wait out the exclusivity period. Some people see it as a cash grab – and maybe they were right.

It’s not for me to say, really. I and many other fans just bought it anyway. It wasn’t an issue for me – though I can’t say the same for all of my friends. Keeping your game away from a large portion of the fanbase isn’t the greatest way to do business. And if Reddit is any indication, it’s clear that players were not happy. 

Despite everything, it may still do well

The thing is; they know people will buy Borderlands 3 again – so much so that a meme prompted me to make this article. No, seriously. Here it is. 

Borderlands 3 epic games
Big shout out to… u/HENTAILORDxd on Reddit – I appreciate the meme, I don’t appreciate having to put your name on this image

Gamers will buy it, if not just for the convenience of owning it on Steam. 2K and Gearbox may very well see a great number of sales on this second launch. A large portion may be returning players, buying it to get away from Epic. Lots of purchases will be made by those who waited patiently – but angrily – for six months, until exclusivity ended. And I believe a large chunk of purchases will be made by gamers new to Borderlands – due mostly, if not entirely, to the price cut. Thousands of new players will be throwing their money at Borderlands 3, which just reinforces the idea in the heads of executives, that exclusivity isn’t a game killer. 

A low price and hype is a recipe for success

Setting the game at such a low price upon its release on a – technically new – platform is a great idea to lure in new players. In all honesty, the game works as a standalone title. Sure, it has lots of call-backs to previous entries, and I mean lots, but a newbie can get through the game just fine too. It doesn’t hurt that the game and franchise are actually great – even if I don’t always believe it myself. If a new player likes what they’re dealing with, they very well may go backwards through the rest of the games to get the full experience. And with previous Borderlands titles getting the remaster treatment and going on sale, it’s not a bad time to ride back to the Borderlands.

With these new players comes new hype and new opportunities to deliver a worthwhile experience. The new generation of players will also get to miss many of the glaring issues that plagued the game from launch. These players will have the opportunity to experience a – somewhat – improved version of Borderlands 3 on Steam.

The move back to Steam was always going to be a little interesting, to say the least. But I think it should do fine – all things considered. The lower price will definitely impact sales for the better – letting old and new players alike get into the swing of things without a massive hit to the wallet. It may never be revealed whether 2K had their own, spicier reasons to do it. Knowing 2K though, they definitely did.

Anyway, Borderlands 3 is on Steam and it’s on sale. I promise you it’s worth it, and if you’re playing Zane – my favorite character – I have just the build to get you started.

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Kevin Dewan

Writer for SQUAD, runs after things a lot. Won't BM you to your face. Okay with losing as long as it's funny.
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