With Destiny 2: Shadowkeep less than a week away, 2K Games is encouraging further Borderlands 3 uptake and reassuring shareholders by announcing sales and revenue records for its latest release. Meanwhile, figures from another publishing group shows how Borderlands 3 PC partner, the Epic Game Store, has been able to offer millions of dollars for platform exclusivity.
Released on Sept 13 across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, Borderlands 3 was presented as a bigger, better version of 2012's Borderlands 2 (with a bigger, better marketing push), so it makes sense that the recent game was given an even bigger reception.
Various controversies over everything from the studio CEO, to the game's online store placement, a curiously narrow selection of pre-release reviews, a flurry of launch-day bugs and the game's particular brand of humour didn't extinguish commercial enthusiasm for the title.
The publisher racked up over five million Borderlands 3 copies sold within the first five days on sale (retail and digital), generating over US$1bil (RM4.19bil) total and becoming 2K's fastest selling title.
Borderlands 3 is also 2K's fastest-selling title on PC, a nod to the exclusivity deal with relative newcomer, the Epic Games Store, which is run by the newly wealthy company behind multiplatform success Fortnite.
The Epic deal had led some franchise fans to say they would not buy on PC at launch but rather wait until April 2020 when Borderlands 3 arrives on the more established Steam store.
Following its launch, Gearbox studio CEO Randy Pitchford had previously disclosed that the game had twice as many concurrent PC players at launch (on the Epic Game Store) than Borderlands 2 had ever had at once.
For Epic, Borderlands 3 broke previous pre-order records, a nugget that coincides with a little extra detail on the scale of cash advancements it has been wooing publishers with.
Epic offers its partners a measure of financial stability and predictability by paying up front against anticipated sales.
It also gives partners 88% of revenue, keeping 12% for itself, rather than taking closer to 30% as commission as has been standard.
In this way Epic has been able to create a cache of exclusives that encourage game fans to use its store.
For publisher 505 Games – more specifically, its parent company Digital Bros – that meant a €9.49mil (RM43.65mil) payment split 45/55 between 505 and Control developer Remedy Entertainment.
The advance would have covered roughly a third to a half of the Control development budget, which was between €20mil and €30mil (RM92mil and RM138mil), per an earlier report from PC Games Insider.
Up next for Borderlands 3 is a special October event called Bloody Harvest, themed around Halloween.
Joining Borderlands 3 in the first-person shooter genre around that time will be Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, releasing Oct 1 across PS4, XBO and PC, with Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint due Oct 4, then Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare from Oct 25. – AFP Relaxnews