Battleborn is driven by Gearbox's experiences making Borderlands

Developer Gearbox calls it a hero shooter, gamers have been calling it a MOBA, but what exactly is Battleborn?

Unveiled earlier this week, Battleborn remains slightly undefinable, it seems.

In a post in the official Gearbox forums, the game's creative director Randy Varnell tried to explain both Battleborn and the MOBA genre.

"Battleborn builds off our experiences with Borderlands — characters, RPG growth, cool enemies to fight — and mixes in some new twists of gameplay, hopefully with the unique style, humor and flair that Gearbox is known for. Some parts of Battleborn will look like some parts of MOBAs. It'll also have some parts of classic shooters, and a roster of playable characters more akin to classic fighting games. You'll also probably recognize influences from Borderlands. This is why we describe Battleborn as a fusion of genres, and it's why we affectionately call it a hero-shooter."

Varnell went on to point out that MOBAs as a category tend to have some common elements, things like characters that level up over a single match, lanes, towers, creep streams. But, he seems to argue, those elements being in a game don't necessarily make it a MOBA.

"All of those elements are also seen in other genres and games too, right?" he wrote. "Titanfall has AI 'creeps.' TF2 has 'lanes,' sort of. Battlefield has 'towers,' Street Fighter and Smash Brothers have lots of characters. Are those MOBAs? MOBAs originated as a blend of RTS and Tower Defense (which originated in RTS), and then almost exclusively targeted the single-map combat "arena" experience."

Ultimately, it sounds like Gearbox expects that Battleborn will be the same sort of indefinable game that Borderlands was when it first burst onto the scene.

"As convenient as categories can be, I believe we can understand Battleborn without having to put it in a category," he wrote.

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