Gearbox: Epic Helped Us Reach New Players with Borderlands 3
Borderlands 3 launched as an Epic Games store exclusive on PC and it will remain as such until next Spring when it will land on Steam. Many thought this would somewhat limit the initial player base of Borderlands 3 but in an interview with PCGamesInsider.biz, Gearbox Senior Producer Anthony Nicholson said the deal with Epic actually helped them get to new fans.
The appetite amongst fans was definitely there, but Epic have been great partners and have done a lot to help us reach new players as well. So I’d say it’s a combination of everything that’s culminated in the success we’re seeing.
A lot of that has to do with Borderlands 2. We loved and believed in the game back when it launched in 2012, but I’m not sure we could have anticipated the fandom that’s grown around it since then. It’s both staggering and humbling and drives us to do what we do the best we can for those fans. That community has definitely kept enthusiasm for the franchise alive, and that’s likely encouraged more and more people to give the series a try. Add that to all the work our devs and marketing teams did over the last six months to get the game in front of so many people, and thankfully I think it added up to there just being a lot more Borderlands fans out there now.
Nicholson is likely referring to the millions who have downloaded the Epic Games client just to play Fortnite and may have stumbled upon Borderlands 3 while browsing the store. It is indeed true that Fortnite brought new gamers to the industry, thus indirectly benefiting other titles as well.
After all, the numbers are there to back up Nicholson's statement. According to Gearbox President Randy Pitchford, the third instalment in the Borderlands franchise peaked on launch day at twice the number of concurrent players registered as the all-time peak for Borderlands 2. Overall, the game went on to sell over 5 million units in the first five days since its debut, making it the fastest-selling in the history of the 2K label.