Borderlands 3’s PC sales ‘greatly exceed expectations’, says Gearbox CEO

Borderlands 3 on PC has reportedly given developer Gearbox its “best numbers in Gearbox history” despite its exclusivity deal with Epic Games store

In a series of tweets over launch day – Friday, September 13th – and the weekend, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford confirmed the PC launch has seen twice as many players hop onto the looter-shooter despite backlash from fans that saw Borderlands 2 reviewed bombed on Steam when 2K announced the partnership with Epic.

“Fun Fact: On PC, the data is that the launch day peak concurrent players of Borderlands 3 is about *twice-as-high* as the all time peak concurrent players of Borderlands 2,” Pitchford wrote on Twitter. “WOW! You guys are great!

“Incredible day with new peak concurrency (and climbing),” Pitchford added the following day. “Best numbers in Gearbox history!”

It’s important to note that concurrent figures are not representative of total sales, of course, but it does intimate that Gearbox has seemingly not been unduly affected by its exclusivity partnership. A doubling of Borderlands 2’s highest concurrent players suggests its successor has peaked at around an estimated 248,000 players (thanks, PC Gamer). 

“Somehow, today’s [trending] concurrent player numbers are *higher* than yesterday’s record-breaking numbers,” Pitchford added yesterday. “This greatly exceeds expectations, and our systems seem to be holding strong!”

Borderlands 3 joined a slew of exclusive titles announced for Epic Game Store, from partners as wide-ranging as Take-Two’s Private Division, Quantic Dream, Remedy and 505 Games. In a related announcement, and following the success of The Division 2, Ubisoft has committed to launching more new titles, and back catalogue titles, on the store. This will be a continuation of its partnership, where titles are exclusive to UPlay and Epic Game Store. Some of those back catalogue titles have been promised as being part of the free games programme.

The most startling inclusion in the list of true exclusives is the PC releases of Quantic Dream’s last three games: Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human. All are coming to PC for the first time via Epic’s store.

The store is Epic’s newest and most intriguing innovation, though it certainly didn’t appear overnight. “We built the technology long before we had a business model supporting it,” CEO Tim Sweeney recently told MCV. “[Fortnite] accelerated everything by bringing in the large audience of engaged gamers required for a successful storefront launch, and the e-commerce economies of scale for an 88-12 per cent revenue-sharing model.”

“Ubisoft supports our model and trusts us to deliver a smooth journey for players, from pre-purchase to the game’s release,” Sweeney added, reflecting on The Divisions 2’s exclusivity. 

“But delivery is only half the deal, so is Epic offering financial incentives, above and beyond we’ve worked to ensure it’s genuinely worthwhile for developers to move to the Epic Games store.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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