Earlier this week during Borderlands 3’s gameplay reveal, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said that the game will be no microtransactions. This statement particularly referred to free-to-play tactics like purchasable lootboxes. In an interview with Game Informer, Creative Director at Gearbox Paul Sage stated that they’re “selling cosmetic items”. This statement led to a lot of confusion among fans, so much so that 2K had to step in and clear the air.
Borderlands 3 Microtransactions
During the gameplay reveal, Pitchford stated that Borderlands 3 “won’t have microtransactions”. He also said cosmetic items such as skins and heads will be part of the game. Basically, Borderlands 3 will not include microtransactions which mess the core gameplay. Just like the previous Borderlands games, cosmetic items and downloadable content will be purchasable.
Responding to drama, Borderlands publisher 2K released a statement to Eurogamer saying:
“Players will have the option to purchase certain cosmetic items like character, vehicle, and weapon skins, but none of these purchases would be considered pay-to-win or impacting on the gameplay, like weapons or actual gear.”
As a shooter game with a heavy focus on looting, Borderlands 3 takes loot balancing very seriously. As such, microtransactions which lead to “direct player advantages” will be avoided. However, the game will still feature XP and loot boosts which can be obtained by purchasing the special editions. Just like the previous Borderlands games, these boosts “will both be level capped and tied to specific pieces of gear”.
All of this boils down to the fact that Borderlands 3 aims to be a perfectly balanced looter shooter. As Pitchford explains, there will be paid DLC as well as free cosmetic drops. Borderlands 2 featured dozens of cosmetic DLCs, but there was no inclusion of any sort of premium currency.
Borderlands 3 is still a few months away from its launch in September. As such, it’s possible that gameplay altering mechanics such as loot and XP boosts are changed.