Gearbox's hero shooter, Battleborn, will shut down its servers in 2021. Battleborn‘s publisher, 2k, announced the server shut down in a blog post. 2k already removed the game from digital storefronts including the Playstation store, Xbox Game Store and Steam.
2k states that, as a part of the sunsetting process, Battleborn‘s premium virtual currency will be disabled for purchase after Feb 24, 2020. Players will be able to purchase items with the virtual currency(both Platinum and coins earned through gameplay) they have already have. They will still be able to earn coins through grinding in gameplay.
The game remains virtually unaffected till the Jan 2021 shutdown. It will be completely unplayable in any way when the servers are offline- including the single-player campaign and PvP.
2K has said that the ending of the support of Battleborn is to focus resources on other projects.
[1/3] Today we have begun the process of gradually sunsetting Battleborn. Starting February 24, 2020, you will no longer be able to purchase virtual currency for use in the game.
— Battleborn (@Battleborn) November 25, 2019
Battleborn released in mid-2016 on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC as a hybrid between hero shooters and MOBAs. But, it had a lukewarm reception upon release. A few weeks after launch, it had to compete with the highly anticipated and much more successful, Blizzard hero shooter, Overwatch. The critics praised the game for its ambition and heroes but found it to grind-heavy and unfulfilling to players who weren't fans of the genre
A year after launch, in mid-2017, Gearbox announced that Battleborn would be moving to the free-to-play model, allowing players full access to all competitive modes.
While the comparisons to Blizzard's Overwatch were plentiful, Gearbox CEO, Randy Pitchford claimed to IGN that Overwatch may not have impacted sales but impacted the game's legacy.
“Let's imagine Overwatch didn't exist at all; I don't know that anything would have been different. Maybe Battleborn would have had the same exact audience it had, it just wouldn't have been compared,” Pitchford said.
Though Pitchford himself did not help the game when he began tweeting about Battleborn NFSW subreddits. Many felt that it was a desperate marketing ploy to emulate the popularity of Overwatch pornographic material that was widely searched term at the time.
VERY NSFW, but I have received reports that BattlebornRule34 is now a thing on Reddit. LINK WITH CAUTION: https://t.co/laA7tR4Dgs
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 16, 2017