You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: every single video game launch is a minor miracle. So many decisions have to be made. So much content has to be completed. So many variables have to fall perfectly into place. For massive triple-A titles like Borderlands 3, releasing a final product requires years of dedication and perseverance. Increasingly, though, launch is not the end – it’s only the beginning.
While Borderlands 3 is not technically a “live service” game, we have treated it as such to make sure that each week it’s a better game than it was the week before. To keep this looter shooter alive and thriving, we have relied on the passion and determination of our incredible development teams, who’ve kept development happening against the backdrop of a pandemic that fundamentally changed the way we needed to work.
Later this week, more than 18 months since the base game launched on PlayStation 4, we plan to release the Director’s Cut add-on for Borderlands 3 on April 8, introducing a brand new raid boss, a series of murder mystery missions, new daily and weekly challenges via Vault Cards, and a cache of never-before-seen, behind the scenes content, not to mention new Legendary gear and cosmetic items. To mark the occasion, we wanted to look back at everything we’ve released since launch and pull back the curtain on what it takes to keep a triple-A game feeling fresh.
Broadly speaking, we’ve been guided by three major goals since launch. First, to continue to polish and improve the game by addressing reported performance issues. Second, to strive to maintain a balanced experience so that build diversity could flourish at the end-game. And finally, to deliver a variety of new content, whether free or as part of a paid campaign DLC, at a consistent cadence.
That first goal is the most straightforward of the three. Nearly every single week since launch (up to and including this week), we’ve released a hotfix to adjust the content that’s already available. We’ve also added numerous quality of life improvements, such as more backpack and bank space, expanded ammo storage, and performance and UI improvements. In effort to be transparent, update notes are always available on borderlands.com.
Yes, a few updates saw us remove power from over-performing gear or skills, but far more often, we buffed gear and characters. We made all of these changes with the goal of improving the long-term health of the Borderlands 3 experience. We always want that experience to feel both challenging and rewarding. From the beginning, this has been our guiding light when approaching the adjustments we’ve made to the balance of the game.
While these weekly updates often stem from our own internal play-testing and the direction of our live team, they just as often result from fan feedback. Have you ever wondered, “Do developers actually read their games’ subreddits?” Well, the answer is: yes, of course! We read all those critiques, as we know those comments come from the most passionate members of our community.
Those weekly adjustments keep us plenty busy, but the real work – and the real joy of Borderlands 3 – comes from that third goal: releasing a variety of new content. And when I say variety, I really, really mean it. In the first year after launch, we released four story-driven campaign add-ons that ranged from a cosmic horror rom-com to a gritty western tale to a space casino super heist to a journey into the broken psyche of a psycho. After that, we release