We’ve had a similar discussion to this once before with microtransactions in Borderlands 3. Specifically in the form of a debacle. This was when Randy Pitchford confirmed no microtransactions in Borderlands 3. It was then followed by 2K confirming that there actually are Borderlands 3 microtransactions. Just that they’re cosmetic and not mechanical. With that logic in mind, could we see ads in Borderlands 3?
Video game ads were started in the mobile gaming industry. Just another reason people hate that genre. The way they work is part of the money-making machine in gaming nowadays. They provide visual currency in exchange for watching ads provided. These advertisements can be avoided by some kind of in-game microtransactions. The major reason I don’t criticize mobile games for using this is the fact that they’re free-to-play.
However, if a game being charged at full retail is then filled up with microtransactions, it has scum written all over it. NBA 2K 2019 is a huge example of this. One that was drowned in criticism and controversy for how much it charged.
The microtransactions weren’t even cosmetic. They had effects on the gameplay itself, such as stats and skills. They were also thrown in your face at nearly every menu, very annoying. Borderlands 3 has promised cosmetic only transactions. But with today’s game industry practices, will they stick to it?
We already know Gearbox isn’t above making a quick buck after they signed the Epic exclusivity deal. So it’s safe to assume they might try the ad strategy. Still, there’s a good chance Borderlands 3 won’t have ads.
I mean advertisements in mobile games are to make money. Borderlands 3 should make it big on console sales alone. The only platform they face a lower payday on is PC. What with how pissed off everybody is regarding the six-month Epic exclusivity.
The only mainstream game I can think of where ads were in the game is Street Fighter V. Street Fighter V also got backlash for its ads due to being a full retail game. Another reason was how grindy the game got without earning money from ads. Yes, the ads were optionable. Still, it made people feel that artificial grinding was deliberately added for people to activate ads. They have since been pulled out of the game by Capcom.
Borderlands 3 could utilize ads as an option to make more money. The game has been grindey on its own in the past. We will have to wait and see, however.