Borderlands 3 Fans Vent Over Old Xbox Issue That Won’t Go Away

On May 9, a Borderlands 3 player lit the popular subreddit r/Gaming ablaze. They posted a photo of an error message on their Xbox Series S, which indicated that the console had run out of video memory. Not long after, the post was inundated with tons of comments saying the same thing: This happens all the time when playing Gearbox’s 2019 looter-shooter.

Read More: The Best And Worst Parts About Every Borderlands Game

Borderlands 3 originally launched on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in September 2019, and developer Gearbox Software ported the game to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X in 2020. The move to current-gen hardware was a free update for folks who already owned the game, which included some extra updates like 4K visuals, a solid 60 FPS, and three-to-four-player local splitscreen multiplayer. Additional patches in 2021 and 2022 brought cross-platform play to Xbox and PlayStation, respectively, allowing friends across systems to collect loot together. Basically, Borderlands 3 right now is what it should’ve been off the rip–but this VRAM leak issue is threatening to upend its progress

Borderlands 3 causing Xbox Series S to crash

In their May 9 post, jokekiller94 shared an image of their Xbox Series S apparently running out of video memory while playing Borderlands 3.

“Error: Out of video memory trying to allocate a rendering resource,” the message read. “Make sure your video card has the minimum required memory, try lowering the resolution and/or closing other applications that are running. Exiting…”

“Apparently the series S can run out of VRAM,” Jokekiller94 titled the post.

VRAM, or video random access memory, is a type of dynamic internal memory used to store image data for even and smooth graphics on computer screens. It’s a necessity for 3D graphic design programs and video games, as VRAM taps directly into your device’s GPU to render polygons into discernible images. So, if your VRAM is at capacity, not only will images look ugly AF, it’s possible your game or program will crash as the system attempts to allocate its internal resources. And since each game or program has different VRAM appetites, it can become difficult to determine just how much any one needs, leading to memory leaks.

This Borderlands 3 VRAM issue seems to affect multiple players

An assortment of redditors flooded jokekiller94’s post to say they’ve encountered the same sort of issue when playing Borderlands 3.

“This happens on Borderlands 3 all the time,” said one redditor. “That or a straight-up freeze/crash. For some reason, it runs well on the [Xbox] Series S until it doesn’t. Several crashes per (lengthy) game session; seems Gearbox did a shit job of optimizing it. Runs fine on the Series X, though.”

“It’s not the console, but the game,” Tarnishedo chimed in. “This is an issue with Borderlands 3, Remnant: From the Ashes, and a few other games. It’s a bad bug, and once you have it, it never goes away.”

“That’s Borderlands 3? I’m not surprised,” said RLD-Kemy. “The game can stutter on PC if you don’t set the textures at the right level for your GPU/VRAM. But I guess it can manage to cache it on RAM when you run out of VRAM.”

Borderlands 3 is an absolute resource hog,” redditor zjm555 replied. “Of all the games I’ve ever played on my PC, this one is the one that nearly fried it.”

Borderlands 3? Yeah, that’s been a thing since the next-gen update came out,” SuperBAMF007 commented, concluding that it’s “super stupid.”

While the game has a “very positive” rating on Steam, some players have posted as recently as May 15 that Borderlands 3 is “terribly optimized.” One person said it crashed right when they got a legendary drop, while another claimed it “suddenly started crashing and [refused] to launch” the moment they fell out of the platform’s refund policy.

Kotaku reached out to jokekiller94 for comment but didn’t get a reply in time for publication. Microsoft declined to provide a comment on the record.

In an email to Kotaku, a 2K spokesperson said the team is “aware of and investigating an issue some Xbox Series S players are experiencing” and that folks should “contact 2K customer service” if they need assistance.

Read More: Every Borderlands Game, Ranked From Worst To Best

This VRAM issue doesn’t seem to be everyone’s experience. Steam players say that this is the best Borderlands 3 has been in a minute. Still, it’s unfortunate that a game that’s been out since 2019 is running into such issues on Xbox Series S. It’s pretty big, taking up approximately 75GB of internal space, which makes it a difficult recommendation when consoles have such limited hard drive capacities. Here’s hoping Gearbox takes notice and addresses the ongoing problems with Borderlands 3.

 

Call Of Duty CEO Says ‘Systemic’ Harassment Was Never An Issue

Ahead of the two-year anniversary of Activision Blizzard being on the receiving end of an unprecedented video game industry lawsuit accusing the publisher of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination, CEO Bobby Kotick has appeared on the cover of Variety to loudly proclaim the innocence of both himself and his corporation. “We’ve had every possible form of investigation done,” he told the magazine. “And we did not have a systemic issue with harassment—ever.”

Kotick’s latest round of defense comes in the lead-up to the launch of Diablo IV, the likely imminent announcement of a new Call of Duty, and a historic $69 billion sale to Microsoft that’s currently on life support after facing stiff resistance by antitrust regulators in the UK and United States. The Xbox maker approached the games publisher shortly after a bombshell Wall Street Journal exposé reported that management at the company had been aware of certain issues, including a couple of sexual assault lawsuits that were later settled, for years.

The longtime Activision executive told Variety that most of what people have read in the media is a mischaracterization. “Look, like any large company with 16,000 employees we’re going to have some instances of workplace discrimination or harassment,” he said. “We’re fortunate over our 30 years it’s been a very small number and it’s something that we care deeply about.”

Those claims come despite a landmark $18 million settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over allegations of harassment and discrimination at Activision Blizzard, as well as a $35 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegedly failing to have the right controls and procedures in place to properly collect and analyze employee complaints of workplace misconduct that might require disclosures to investors.

Last June, Activision’s Board of Directors released a report clearing executive management of any wrongdoing. “Contrary to many of the allegations, the Board and its external advisors have determined that there is no evidence to suggest that Activision Blizzard senior executives ever intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay the instances of gender harassment that occurred and were reported,” it read.

“I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you if any of what you read in the inflammatory narrative was truthful,” Kotick told Variety.

The magazine did not appear to press the executive on any of those claims, or try to reconcile them with the Wall Street Journal’s reporting to the contrary. It did quote several industry peers in Hollywood and elsewhere who praised Kotick for his business acumen and management style. It also described one of the highest-compensated executives in gaming as “disarmingly funny and warm, with a Mickey Rooney-like air of can-do energy.”

Instead of holding himself in any way accountable, as he had in the original aftermath of the lawsuit by Californai regulators that brought years of allegations to light, Kotick shifted blame to “outside forces,” meaning unions like the Communications Workers of America (CWA). “But what we did have was a very aggressive labor movement working hard to try and destabilize the company,” he said.

Several teams within Activision Blizzard have recently sought to unionize, and at least two—quality assurance testers at Call of Duty support studio Raven Software and at Diablo IV support studio Blizzard Albany—have succeeded. However, their attempts were initially met with stiff resistance by senior leaders, prompting the organizers to file a number of unfair labor charges for alleged attempts at union busting in the process.

Organizing efforts have since spread to other major gaming publishers, including Sega of America and Bethesda Software, the recently acquired Microsoft subsidiary preparing to ship Starfield later this year. Unlike Activision Blizzard, which it also hopes to still buy, Microsoft cut a deal with the CWA to remain neutral on unionization, paving the way for Bethesda’s hundreds of QA workers to begin negotiating their first collective bargaining agreement.

Kotick told Variety that he’s not like other anti-union CEOs because he’s a member of SAG-AFTRA after appearing in Moneyball, and his mother was a teacher. “I have no aversion to a union,” he said. “What I do have an aversion to is a union that doesn’t play by the rules.” The Call of Duty boss is set to earn hundreds of millions if the acquisition deal with Microsoft eventually goes through.