There’s been some confusion about whether or not the upcoming Borderlands 3 will have microtransactions or not, but it’s now been confirmed that the game will only offer cosmetic DLC.
Those who thought the developer might be hiding some of the game’s one billion guns behind a paywall can now rest easy, as Pitchford took the stage during a preview event in Hollywood to discuss various new features and mechanics for the upcoming loot shooter.
Towards the end of the gameplay demo, the CEO took a beat to announce that Borderlands 3 won’t include microtransactions – something developers apparently now have to make a point to do in this cynical age we live in.
As you can plainly see, we’ve made a commitment to what Borderlands is and supposed to be. We’ve made a commitment to the story, style and design that our fans have told us loud and clear that they cherish and want us to preserve in Borderlands 3 … There’s no microtransaction-y, free-to-play kind of stuff.
With that said, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any in-game purchases, but they sound like the kind of thing we could always expect from a Borderlands title. Pitchford later reiterated that we’ll be getting some “kickass campaign DLC” and a bunch of cosmetic stuff like heads and skins, but he completely ruled out any of that “free to play junk.”
We’re gonna do some kickass campaign DLC. And I’m sure we’re going to do all kinds of fun customizations like heads and skins, but we’re not doing any of that free-to-play junk. There’s not going to be any microtransactions, there’s not going to be any of that nonsense.
Borderlands 3 creative director Paul Sage later told PC Gamer that there will indeed be the option to purchase cosmetic items like skins, heads, and auxiliary equipment, but that Gearbox isn’t trying to screw people over with loot boxes that hide powerful gear.
Producer Chris Brock later clarified to Games Industry:
When we say ‘no microtransactions,’ what we’re really trying to say is that we’re not trying to nickel and dime people. We’ll probably make content after launch that we will sell, but we also don’t intend to take what Borderlands was and then chop it up into chunks and sell it.
The confusion around Pitchford’s original statement was such that the CEO later took to Twitter to complain that his “no microtransactions” comment was taken out of context, despite the fact he said the words “there’s not going to be any microtransactions.”
Come on guys – shitty clickbait headline. Literally seconds before I said that, I made it very clear we’re going to do more cosmetic stuff like we did in Borderlands 2. You know I was talking about premium currency and loot boxes kind of stuff NOT being in our game.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) May 1, 2019
If you take anything away from this article, it should be these two things: Borderlands 3 will have some cosmetic only microtransactions, but NO loot boxes or premium currency, and if you read the word microtransactions too many times in one go, it stops looking like an actual word.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.