2K and Gearbox announced today that Battleborn now has a free "trial." It is being unceremoniously called Battleborn: Free Trial and it grants unlimited access to the competitive multiplayer and maps all without time limits, level caps, or any planned end date. Yes, they have very carefully not called it "free to play" in their announcement. So I guess Pitchford can still be "technically" correct about the game not going "F2P."

So this "free trial" differs from being a full "free to play" in what way? Well, it seems as though the trial has a rotating cast of six free characters to play, including the same account progression as the full game.
Players who have already purchased and played Battleborn prior to the launch of the Free Trial are now awarded Founder Status

Founders get 1K Platinum, 50K Credits, "Founder" title, gold skins for Mellka and Deande, five Core loot packs, one of each Command Faction Pack (five total), an exclusive "Founders Loot Pakc" that includes a guaranteed piece of legendary gear, one piece of legendary boss gear, two pieces of common or better gear, legendary "Shard of Solus" gear item, and four Flair items including the "Founder's Crown" item.

Gearbox has made it so that those who are enjoying the trial can piecemeal unlock other parts of the game from the Marketplace either by using in-game Credits or the real-world money they call Platinum. Yes, you can still just outright "purchase" the game to unlock everything at once.
Players can also head to either digital or retail stores to upgrade to the full game and unlock all 25 base characters, all eight Story Mode missions and the Prologue, as well as permanent access to private matches. Upgrading is seamless and any player going from the Free Trial to the full game will receive in-game credits for any duplicated content that was purchased a la carte. Additionally, character challenges and masteries will carry over with the upgrade, and players will be granted access to earn the character masteries that are only available through Story Mode missions.

Buying the full game grants you access to all of the characters, more cosmetics, gear packs, boosters, more loadouts and bank pages, the full Story mode, and the ability to play private matches.

You can get the Battleborn: Free Trial for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC via Steam.