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The long-awaited Borderlands 3 hit the shelves on Friday and developer Gearbox Software's CEO Randy Pitchford is saying that loads of people are playing it. In fact, going off concurrent players it is seeing the "best numbers in Gearbox history". Interestingly, this is despite it seeing less than half the boxed sales of Borderlands 2.
Incredible day with new peak concurrency (and climbing). Best numbers in Gearbox history! No promises, but we *might* be ready for me to try a SHiFT code test with the Golden Key system tomorrow. If we do, it will probably be a time-limited key. SHiFT team are god tier right now!- Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) September 14, 2019
There's a bit to unpack here. So, starting with boxed sales, according to GamesIndustry, Borderlands 3 has debuted at the top of the charts in the UK, it is a massive success by current standards - however, the number of copies sold is actually half what Borderlands 2 did when it launched back in 2012. While that sounds bad, it simply shows how much the physical market has shrunk in the last seven years. The bulk of Borderlands 3's sales are clearly taking place in digital stores.
Another interesting stat to take away from the launch is how well Borderlands 3 is doing on PC. Gearbox drew loud criticism for signing up to a six month exclusivity deal with the Epic Games Store, meaning the only place to by Borderlands 3 digitally on PC was through Epic's shop. In the months since the announcement there have been threads in forums, comments on stories, and videos on Youtube decrying this decision and calling for boycotts. Despite this, Pitchford says on launch day there were double the players on PC compared to the all-time high concurrent numbers of Borderlands 2.
Fun Fact: On PC, the data is that the launch day peak concurrent players of Borderlands 3 is about *twice-as-high* as the all time peak concurrent players of Borderlands 2. WOW! You guys are great!- Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) September 13, 2019
Borderlands 2's highest player numbers were around 124,000, so that means potentially more than 250,000 people have been played Borderlands 3 on PC at any one time.
So, something to take away from all this is that despite the sense that Epic is being sidelined by players, there are hundreds of thousands of people playing games bought in its store. It certainly appears that Epic is here to stay, and that will mean more exclusives in the immediate future.
The next big game with exclusivity on the Epic Games Store is The Outer Worlds, Obsidian's Fallout-like first-person RPG, which is out on October 25.
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