Borderlands 3 is making a lot of money, according to publisher 2K Games and developer Gearbox Software. The loot-focused shooter debuted September 13 to generally positive reviews (with a lot of groaning at the jokes). And the companies claim it has since set several new records. 2K has shipped 5 million copies of Borderlands 3, and it says that over 70% of those sales were digital.
The newest Borderlands is also performing especially well on PC, where it debuted exclusively on the Epic Games Store. Gearbox chief executive Randy Pitchford revealed on Twitter that the game doubled the number of peak simultaneous online players as Borderlands 2 on Steam. But Pitchford did not share the exact number. In its own press release, 2K said that Borderlands 3 is its fastest-selling PC game through a five-day period ever.
The implication here is that the decision to go with Epic Game Store exclusivity was worth it to 2K and Gearbox even before you consider any upfront money that Epic paid.
“The response from the Borderlands 3 fans and community has been overwhelming,” Pitchford said. “The mission of Gearbox is to entertain the world and with the record-breaking success of Borderlands 3, we’re excited to take one more giant leap down that road. On behalf of the incredible development team and everyone who has had a hand in making this achievement possible, I extend our warmest thanks to our fans.”
And 2K Games is also taking part in the victory lap.
“Borderlands 3’s incredibly successful launch is a result of the hard work and longstanding partnership between Gearbox Software and 2K,” 2K president David Ismailer said. “We are immensely grateful to everyone who played a role in making the Borderlands series the global, pop-culture phenomenon that it is today, including hundreds of developers at Gearbox and many who have made this their life’s work.”
Putting Borderlands 3’s launch into context
It’s difficult to assess Borderlands 3’s performance. Getting fair comparisons in the secretive gaming industry is challenging. But shipping 5 million copies shipped is a significant number. That shipped number means that it has sold 5 million into retail. But “shipped” also covers digital sales, which made up 70% of that total. So the game is clearly meeting heavy demand.
Borderlands 3 is having one of the best launches of the year. Resident Evil 2 shipped 4 million copies in its first month, according to Capcom. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice surpassed 2 million copies sold to consumers in 10 days. And Super Mario Maker 2 sold 2.42 million copies in its first two days.
Again, none of those comparisons are perfectly like-for-like. But this scant data is enough to validate 2K and Gearbox’s celebration.