Despite Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford's announcement to the contrary during the Borderlands 3 May gameplay livestream reveal, the newest entry to the Borderlands franchise does allow you to buy in-game content with real money. In Borderlands 3, you'll be able to purchase cosmetic items, similarly to how you could for Borderlands 2.
These cosmetic items are skins and heads for your Vault Hunter, so they do not affect gameplay. That said, they are small in-game purchases done with real money, very much considered a form of microtransaction. Pitchford has said that Borderlands 3 aims to steer clear of "that free-to-play junk" when it comes to microtransactions, though. "We're not doing any of that free-to-play junk. There's not going to be any microtransactions, there's not going to be any of that nonsense," he said.
Borderlands 3 creative director Paul Sage said skins, heads, and other cosmetic items can be purchased with real money but they won't lead to a pay-to-win situation and that Borderlands 3 overall is not designed as a games-as-a-service title.
Sage told Game Informer, "We're selling cosmetic items, but we're not going to nickel and dime players. DLC will come down the line, but the game won't have anything excessive."
A spokesperson for Borderlands 3 publisher 2K Games told USGamer about the game's microtransactions, "Players will have the option to purchase certain cosmetic items like character, vehicle, and weapon skins, but none of these purchases would be considered pay-to-win or impacting on the gameplay, like weapons or actual gear."
Additionally, Borderlands 3 will receive multiple expansion packs over time that will also be paid, just like Borderlands 2. At least four story campaign add-ons with new missions and other extras are included with the Borderlands 3 season pass. We also learned today that Borderlands 3 has no loot boxes.
Borderlands 3 launches on September 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
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