Gearbox's hero shooter Battleborn will go free-to-play before the end of the year, according to a source at Kotaku.

The anonymous source said that an announcement had been delayed several times, but is currently likely to hit by mid-November.

They went on to say that Gearbox had sought a free-to-play release from the beginning, and that the decision to release the game as a full-priced offering came from publisher 2K.

A free-to-play move was predicted by analyst group Superdata earlier this year; Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick also hinted at such a move in the 2K parent company's earnings call last month.

Admitting that "its performance in the market has been below our expectations," Zelnick said that "there remains an opportunity to grow the audience for this unique experience over time."

Zelnick said that "2K will continue to drive engagement and recurrent consumer spending on the title through add-on content and virtual currency," which sure sounds a lot like a jump to a free-to-play model.

Battleborn has been shedding players ever since its May release, possibly due to the success of its chief competitor Overwatch, and more recently has been shedding dollars from its retail price.

Its decline (and, 2K surely hopes, any potential resurgence) mirrors that of fellow 2K shooter Evolve, which went free-to-play in July, and immediately saw its waning player count skyrocket.

Regardless of the game's pricing model, Gearbox still plans to release more content, heroes, and missions for Battleborn over time.

Updated 30/09 1pm:

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has poured cold water on this latest rumour in a series of tweets:

"I was just told about a reckless story about Battleborn going F2P that is false," he writes. "There are no plans to convert Battleborn free to play.

"We have some unannounced plans to do a trial version of the game that would be free and from which retail can be purchased along with DLC. Free trial plans are not firm yet - months away. Expect great continued support and awesome line up of DLC."