Borderlands 3 has moved over 5 million units in its first week despite being an Epic Games Store exclusive, a tag that many fans actively disparaged and suggested would ultimately harm the title's sales. The outrage over Borderlands 3 exclusivity persisted from the announcement that developer Gearbox Software and publisher 2K would bring the game to the Epic Store as a time exclusive up until the title's launch, with many actively petitioning consumers to not purchase the game thanks to perceived greed from its creators.
While Borderlands 3 was at the center of the exclusivity debate for a while, it isn't the only title from 2019 to be a focal point for the discussion, and it certainly won't be the last, either. Many AAA games are skipping Steam in favor of Epic, largely due to the fact that Epic has incredibly attractive revenue share splits that undercut Steam's by a significant amount. Apparently, some titles that have become exclusives may have had extra incentive before the game even released, too - a recent financial report suggested that Epic paid over $10 million to get Control as an Epic Game Store exclusive on PC, and it's possible the company has done the same to snag some of the more important releases of the year.
For Borderlands 3, the release week saw the title set several 2K records for units sold, the speed of those sales, and more. It's one of the fastest-selling 2K games of all-time and is the most successful Borderlands launch of all time, in spite of the controversy surrounding its Epic Game Store exclusivity. It's an interesting anecdote in the game's success, but it's one worth examining as the intensity surrounding digital distribution and more companies looking to get involved begins to strengthen heading into the holiday season.
With that said, however, it's important to note that this is the total sales for Borderlands 3 across all platforms, including consoles. There's no doubt PS4 and Xbox One sales contributed heavily to the sales figures, and it would be interesting to get an exact breakdown of by-platform sales to see if PC sales lagged, stayed the same, or increased, and by which percentage. There's a lot of context-sensitive information that is required before consumers can pass judgment on the decision to make Borderlands 3 an Epic exclusive with any semblance of being well-researched.
Still, the fact that Borderlands 3 has sold over 5 million units in its first week seems to strongly indicate that Epic exclusivity didn't hurt it in the slightest. That's the primary takeaway from the sales - beyond the fact that they're just impressive in general, of course - and could lead to more developers and publishers expressing interest in the Epic Games Store now that one of the game's that was most heavily criticized for joining it has managed to become a smash hit regardless.