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Gearbox Boss on Overwatch's Effect on Battleborn

From IGN - September 14, 2017
By Alex Osborn

While Gearbox president Randy Pitchford is not so sure the release of Overwatch directly impacted the sales of Battleborn, he's confident the comparison made between the two hero shooters is why Battleborn is not always perceived as as success.

"Let's imagine Overwatch did not exist at all; I do not know that anything would have been different. Maybe Battleborn would have had the same exact audience it had, it just would not have been compared," Pitchford said on the latest episode ofour monthly interview showIGN Unfiltered.

"They are actually different things," Pitchford said of Overwatch and Battleborn, suggesting Gearbox's hero shooter "might have had the same results" even if Overwatch was not released around the same time last year. "I am telling you this, if Overwatch did not exist and it had exactly the same results, a lot of people would have seen, 'Oh, that was a winner, that's a new IP and it's successful, and holy crap where did this come from?' It would have been seen in a totally different light, even if it sold not a single unit more than it did," he explained.

Pitchford went on highlight the fact that "we celebrate when new, strange IPs break a million units," recalling the excitement and praise Firewatch received when its sales reached one million. However, that was not the case for Battleborn, sales for which were initially "tracking just ahead" of Borderlands shortly after launch. "We reached three to four million people and it's like, 'oh you guys fked up so bad. Such a failure. And it's only because of the [Overwatch] comparison, I think," Pitchford said.

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