Is Gearbox pranking us with this Borderlands 3 release date tweet?

Is Gearbox pranking us with this Borderlands 3 release date tweet?

If you're going to leak your own game's release date, I guess today would be the day to do it. You could always backpedal and say you were kidding. That said, a new and now-deleted tweet from Gearbox said Borderlands 3 will release on September 13, and I'm not ready to write it off as a poorly handled joke. 

The tweet in question was archived here by a ResetEra user. "Mayhem is coming September 13," it reads. "Pre-order now for the Gold Weapon Skins Pack!" You can't watch it via the archived version, but the tweet also used the same GIF seen in this tweet about Borderlands 2 Shift Codes: 

These SHiFT codes for 5 Golden Keys will grant you some new loot in Borderlands 2! [Active through 04/15] BL2 PC/Mac: WT5JB-T9KZB-XFT6W-TTTTB-W5WJBXB360/XBOne: 5T5BT-SXRRC-ZZRRZ-56BBT-9BB3CPS3/PS4/PS Vita/PSVR: CJC33-KHBHZ-HBC9W-H3KTB-F93KH pic.twitter.com/APehXsrVe1March 29, 2019

It's easy to assume this was all a joke on Gearbox's part, but a few things make me think this was a genuine marketing hiccup and the release date is legitimate. Firstly, tweeting a false release date isn't really a joke, even for the low bar of April Fool's Day. Secondly, if Gearbox was just joking around, it probably wouldn't have deleted the tweet within minutes. Thirdly - and this just another hunch on my part - the fact that the deleted tweet used the same GIF as another recent tweet suggests some wires got crossed among Gearbox's social media team. 

On top of that, according to a now-deleted Twitter ad recorded by Wario64, Borderlands 3 will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store on PC. This wouldn't be a huge surprise: from The Division 2 to Metro Exodus, Epic has been snapping up all kinds of big exclusives lately, though it says it will tone down the exclusivity in time. 

Borderlands 3 releasing on Epic Games Store (from a Twitter ad video that is now deleted) pic.twitter.com/d4v17GapWZApril 1, 2019

This is all to say nothing of the fact that a proper Borderlands 3 reveal is scheduled for this Wednesday, April 3. Gearbox has been promising "more information" coming on Wednesday since the release of the first Borderlands 3 trailer, so it's pretty safe to assume the release date will be shared soon. So, it's entirely possible that Gearbox will confirm a release date of September 13 this week through a proper gameplay showcase. We'll find out soon enough. 

In the meantime, keep your grains of salt handy, because fans previously predicted Borderlands 3 would release on October 1 based on secrets hidden in its trailer.