Will Borderlands 3 be on Steam?

Troy and Tyreen Calypso
Troy and Tyreen Calypso (Image credit: Android Central)

Best answer: We don't know for sure, but there's a strong possibility that Borderlands 3 will come to Steam after its 6-month exclusivity period on the Epic Games Store.

Vast alien treasures: Borderlands 3 (opens in new tab) ($60 at Amazon)

Why is it an Epic Games Store exclusive?

There are a lot of reasons that could have contributed to Gearbox and 2K opting to release Borderlands 3 on the Epic Games Store as a timed exclusive, but the companies have unfortunately not stated why they came to this decision. A popular belief is that it is because Epic only takes a 12% cut of the revenue as opposed to Valve's 30% cut, but that is merely speculation.

When will it come to Steam?

According to a press release released after its announcement, Borderlands 3 will release on other digital PC platforms starting in April 2020, six months after its initial release on the Epic Games Store. However, because it doesn't specifically list Steam as one of these storefronts, we can't know for sure if it'll come to the popular PC platform. As of right now, it's an educated guess that Steam — being the biggest digital distribution platform of video games — will likely get Borderlands 3 in April 2020.

There is a precedent for games launching on the Epic Games Store first before coming to other PC storefronts, like The Division 2 and Metro Exodus. The latter was notably available for pre-order on Steam for quite a while before being pulled after Epic announced its deal with Metro Exodus Publisher Deep Silver.

What if I want Borderlands 3 for PC but don't want to use the Epic Games Store?

You're out of luck if that's the case. Right now you can't pre-order a physical PC copy of the game, so the only way you'd be able to play on Sept. 13 when it releases is either on an Xbox One, PS4, or through the Epic Games Store. If physical pre-orders do start to pop up for Borderlands 3 on PC, that's your only other option. We'll update you if we get any more information.

How does Gearbox feel about the backlash?

There's been quite a bit of backlash from fans who hate this exclusivity deal and have even been review bombing previous Borderlands games on Steam. In response to this, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said on Twitter, "Ironically, that this misuse is possible and that Steam has no interest in correcting this misuse makes me kind of happy about 2K's decision and makes me want to reconsider Gearbox Publishing's current posture on the platform."

Steam has since flagged "off-topic" reviews that do not contribute to the aggregated score. This tool lets users know that a recent set of reviews may contain "an abnormal set of reviews that we believe are largely unrelated to the likelihood that you would enjoy the product."

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.