The head of Battleborn developer Gearbox has interpreted Blizzard's decision to pitch Overwatch against it as proof that both studios are on to something.
Blizzard this morning confirmed a May 24th release date for Overwatch, with an open beta kicking off for pre-order customers on May 3rd – that's the day that 2K releases Battleborn.
Well - shit just got real,” Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford said on Twitter, before elaborating: Context: Blizzard doing Overwatch beta on our Battleborn launch. Excited they believe as we do there is a business. Competition is real!”
As has been widely noted, both games share a number of similarities and can likely expect some competition in the fight for users.
Both are team-based multiplayer shooters, both are coming to next-gen consoles and PC, both have a large selection of characters and both seem to integrate MOBA-style elements.
On the one hand, Blizzard has had a tremendous reception to its Overwatch closed beta and is an established player in the competitive multiplayer sector. However, it has experienced trouble on previous occasions when launching online games (and running existing ones). It's also the first time Blizzard will have launched a game simultaneously on consoles and PC.
Gearbox, meanwhile, won plenty of fans with its Borderlands series, which has been a wild success. And a Battleborn beta is scheduled for April, meaning for many players it will be first out of the gates. On the other hand, Gearbox and Pitchford are certainly divisive, and 2K's last big online launch, Evolve, struggled to maintain its momentum.