'Overwatch' Rival 'Battleborn' Wants to Woo You With a Free Trial

Gearbox's hero shooter takes a chance on free-to-play, rewards "founder" players


When Gearbox Software comes a-wooing it doesn't bring chocolates or roses, it brings free first-person shooter carnage from its Overwatch rival, Battleborn. It's now available on PC, Xbox One, and on PS4 in the US and includes access to competitive multiplayer.

"The Free Trial includes access to all four competitive multiplayer modes, a rotating roster of free playable heroes, and the same character and account growth/progression you would find in the full game," says Gearbox Software. There's good news for anyone that already paid for the game too, and feels a little bit sore about it. They get a Founder’s Bonus, which includes gold skins, loot packs, a piece of legendary gear and 1,000 Platinum, 50,000 Credits and a "Founder" title. 

When Glixel spoke to Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford in January he was candid about the challenges of entering the team shooter scrum with Overwatch. "I remember when Blizzard announced Overwatch, we were already committed. We were announced. We had our date. We were running for it," he says. "I went over to Take-Two. 'You know, Activision’s going to outspend us every day of the week. They’re just going to brute force it. We can’t overcome that. There’s nothing we can do to beat the brute force part of the fight.' So we took the attitude of, 'Look, it’s not a fight, man. Let’s just focus on our goals and make the game that’s fun and the game we want to make and trust it’ll work.'"

Battleborn was released on May 3, 2016, three weeks before Overwatch. 

"We've had, what, three and a half million people play Battleborn. Relative to Overwatch, we're a failure, right?"