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Borderlands 3 Finally Lands on Stadia – But There’s One Glaring Catch

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:24 PM
Thomas Bardwell
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:24 PM
  • Borderlands 3 lands on Stadia today.
  • Unfortunately, the Stadia version is a nearly two-month-old build of the looter-shooter.
  • Players report the game is running at 30 fps.

Borderlands 3 developer Gearbox Software announced today that the looter-shooter is now available on Google Stadia, but with one crucial asterisk.

Stadia’s Nearly Two-Month-Old Borderlands 3 Build

When you load up Borderlands 3 on Stadia, you’ll be playing a nearly two-month-old build of the game. In an official post on the Borderlands 3 website sharing the news, Gearbox says :

We aim to achieve feature parity for all versions of Borderlands 3 early in 2020, but for the moment the version of the game that you play on Stadia has benefited from the updates and fixes that were released through October 24.

Wrapped up in Google’s well-oiled marketing push for Stadia was the promise of no downloads or updates. Play instantaneously, free of the tedium of patiently waiting for a massive day-one file to download as we’ve grown accustomed to on rival consoles.

Few would have guessed that this meant Stadia wouldn’t be getting any updates at all. It’s funny how marketing and reality diverge sometimes.

Of course, we jest. The issue is specific Borderlands 3, but it nevertheless remains a head-scratcher.

Borderlands 3 Now on Stadia, but It's a Two-Month Old Build
What’s worse: a day-one download, or no downloads at all? | Source: 2K/Gearbox

Who Do We Blame: Google or Gearbox?

The Google Stadia edifice consists of vast data centers housing aisle after aisle of beefy servers, which, when reduced to their most common denominator, are PCs, albeit ones running custom hardware. Why the Stadia version cannot run the most recent Borderlands 3 build from the PC or other console ports is unclear.

It raises the question of why Google and Gearbox would greenlight a launch on Stadia when the port is evidently not yet fit for purpose.

borderlands 3 stadia
Source: Twitter 

Contracts penned when the Stadia hype was at its peak may have lost some shine for developers after the platform’s sketchy launch. It’s not unrealistic to assume that the obligation of shipping a game and possibly less than ideal Stadia development tools have left game developers wary of shifting resources to a platform that remains unproven.

In what has become a familiar refrain for Stadia titles, players are also reporting Borderlands 3 is running at 30 fps  up-scaled to the fabled 4K 60 fps that formed a central part of Google’s platform pitch.