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Over the next 14 months, Gearbox and 2K will undertake the long process of “sunsetting” Battleborn.

Battleborn was a game that suffered for its circumstances. Released a few weeks before Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch, a game to which Gearbox’s hero shooter was outwardly very similar, the tribal nature of video game fanbases meant the two games were forced into direct competition.

There could be only one. A bit like Highlander, but with a talking gorilla versus a penguin in a mech suit. Which is, to be fair, still less ridiculous than Sean Connery’s “Spanish” accent.

Battleborn, sadly, was the loser. Overwatch has gone on to success, esports, and a sequel, while Battleborn has faded away.

Online service games cannot go on forever, particularly ones that are growing unpopular. It is with a hint of sadness, then, but with no great surprise, that the official Battleborn Twitter account has today announced the “sunsetting” of Battleborn.

“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,” the statement begins.

“The game’s servers will remain active and the game will continue to be playable until January 2021,” it continues. “However, once servers are deactivated, Battleborn will no longer be playable. To learn more, please refer to this detailed FAQ.”

This latest news, once again, raises the question of the preservation of online games. Once upon a time, an online game’s most die-hard fans could keep it going with private servers, even if the game itself was no longer being developed or updated. Now, when Gearbox and 2K pull the plug in January 2021, Battleborn will be lost forever.

“We’re extremely proud of the work that went into the game, and want to extend our deep appreciation to all the fans for their support,” the statement reads, in closing. “We’ll continue to provide updates on the sunsetting of the title when appropriate.”

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