PC download charts: 'Gears 5' takes off, 'Borderlands 3' readies for launch

While sci-fi soldier Kait (L) leads 'Gears 5,' franchise icon Marcus (R) still features.

The latest "Gears of War" action game has been welcomed by both strong reviews and an enthusiastic response, though not enough to depose "Remnant from the Ashes," "Counter-Strike" tournament content, and "The Witcher 3" from the Steam chart's top three, while "Borderlands 3" prepares for a September 13 release on the Epic Games Store.

Expect to see "Gears 5" feature "Sekiro," "Devil May Cry 5," and the very recent "Monster Hunter: World - Iceborne" expansion, "Astral Chain" and "Control" on end-of-year lists and in discussions about 2019's best action games.

The sturdy sci-fi shooter has successfully expanded on previous "Gears of War" franchise entries without losing its identity and, on PC, it's also formed part of the rebalancing of power between online stores, as the Epic Games Store increases its own reach through exclusives, free giveaways, and the attention of the sizable "Fortnite" audience.

With French publisher Ubisoft having allied new "The Division" and "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon" games with Epic, Microsoft opted to sell "Gears 5" not only through its own Microsoft Store but also on a traditional nexus of PC gaming, Steam.

In this case, however, "Gears 5" is not just a game in its own right but also a funnel into Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service; instead of buying it outright, players can instead subscribe to Xbox Game Pass on Xbox or Windows 10 PC to receive the high-profile release as part of a regularly updated library of games.

Though "Gears 5" might have sided with Steam, "Borderlands 3" is preparing to make an impact through Epic from September 13.

While Epic does not currently release live or weekly chart readings, the Humble Store does rank its most popular products and is authorized to sell game activations for not only Epic but also Steam, Ubisoft's Uplay, and other PC platforms.

"Borderlands 3" is the fifth entry to a visually distinctive shoot-and-loot action franchise that includes a story-driven choice and consequence spin-off, an interquel (or "Pre-Sequel") and numerous versions of the series' biggest hit, 2012's 22 million-seller "Borderlands 2," including VR, portable, and remastered.

With four new characters joining a returning cast of fan favorites, new ways to earn and show off rare and randomly generated guns and equipment, and a social media campaign that has recruited YouTube and Twitch influencers to its cause, there is still pressure for "Borderlands 3" to perform before genre rival "Destiny 2" releases its Shadowkeep expansion and converts to free-to-play from October 1; "Ghost Recon Wildlands" launches early October and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" lands on October 25.

On PC, "Borderlands 3" is expected to re-release through Steam from April 2020.

Steam* (steampowered.com)
1. Remnant from the Ashes
2. Counter-Strike: GO - Starladder Berlin 2019 tournament pack
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition
4. Gears 5 Ultimate Edition (China)
5. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
*Steam chart based on revenue rather than units.

Humble (humblebundle.com)
1. Borderlands 3 Super Deluxe Edition
2. Monster Hunter: World
3. Borderlands 3
4. GreedFall
5. Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm