After announcing earlier this week that Borderlands 3 would support pre-loading on all platforms 48 hours before launch in a Tweet that framed the news as the best thing since sliced bread, developer Gearbox was quickly reminded by the community that the addition of the feature isn’t all that extraordinary.
Here's when you'll finally be able to play #Borderlands3! We're also happy to announce that Borderlands 3 will be available for download roughly 48 hours ahead of the launch date on PC & console!
— Borderlands 3 (@Borderlands) September 3, 2019
Pre-loading has become an integral part of any modern triple-A release, and the real news was its absence, announced earlier this month, rather than finally implementing a feature that was widely adopted the better part of a decade ago, if not longer.
As these Twitter users put it;
Congratulations for doing the bare minimum! Truly a victory when players have to protest to get a function that's been present since half-life 2.
— yoongian archetype🍜 (@Kakaibaskin) September 4, 2019
OMG! OMG! They reinvented the wheel! pic.twitter.com/rsiA5YB9MK
— MrAngryBates (@MrAngryBates) September 3, 2019
Epic CEO Tom Sweeney Joins The Fray
To add insult to injury, Epic Games supremo, Tom Sweeney, weighed in, describing Gearbox’s last-minute work to implement Borderlands 3 pre-loading as ”an extraordinary development push.”
Borderlands 3 will support preloading on all platforms including Epic Games store in time for launch! Congrats to the Gearbox team on an extraordinary development push to enable this. https://t.co/ZYzthYJf8f
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 3, 2019
A bad move on his part as this unsurprisingly opened the flood gates to trolling remarks centered on Epic Games Store exclusivity and the current state of the platform. A common refrain among comments was the game wouldn’t truly release until it launches on Steam in six months.
Damn, preloading?? Fantastic! Can I preload it now ready for the Steam release in April?
— Mike Jones (@theavenger2378) September 3, 2019
Oh boy can’t wait for the game to come out in 6 months shame they delayed it for pc
— Shadeiq (@shihabshabbir) September 4, 2019
Others were quick to point out the lack of functionality on the Epic Games Store and how Epic had delegated the work of implementing Borderlands 3 pre-loading to Gearbox;
Great job catching up to least expected industry standard. Do you have shopping carts yet?
— Vemund Veien (@ragebrutal) September 3, 2019
Epic store could not get pre loading on their crap store so in order to do it Gearbox the publisher of the game had to fix epic store so people could preload bl3. Wow, here that devs, you want anything to work for your game you have to make a fix yourself. Wow. I have no words
— Sueswirejewelry (@Suclns6495387) September 4, 2019
Although swathes of the Borderlands 3 are boycotting the Epic Games Store release, others expressed their excitement;
Omg thank you this is the best news ever
— DBPhantom (@DBPhantom) September 3, 2019
As a PC player, the relief is immeasurable. Thank god for pre-loads.
And Borderlands of course
— Dankster (@Dankster_TV) September 3, 2019
Gearbox Releases Useful Borderlands 3 Release Time Graphic
Amid the backlash, Gearbox did get one thing right, and that is to publish a handy graphic detailing at what time Borderlands 3 would go live across the world on Sept. 13. A small thing, but one that eager fans will relish as they’ll know exactly when they can jump in and wreak havoc on Pandora.
Right on cue, Twitter users used this as ammunition to troll the Borderlands 3 developer even more;
Timetables seem to be 6 months too early guys.
— spectra (@spectra20000) September 3, 2019
Putting aside all the fun we’re having at Borderlands 3 and Epic Games’ expense, there’s a silver lining to all this; sustained community pressure can yield results and nudge developers and storefronts into delivering on basic expectations, albeit ones that are an industry standard.