Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has denied the rumor on Twitter, calling it "false." Pitchford adds that Gearbox has plans to release a free version of Battleborn that can be upgraded. Its unclear how this model will play out but it might be like Paladins where you can play for free but you can choose to purchase all of the current/future heroes.
Battleborn is a failure in terms of sales and I don't really think its too popular compared to Overwatch or even Paladins for that matter. Gearbox was originally going to go f2p on launch but chose to go with a full $60 price for some reason at the last minute.
"The price has since dropped precipitously: is currently listing it, on all platforms, at $20, compared to the $60 launch price. (, oddly enough, is still selling it for full pop.) Its peak concurrent PC player count has taken a similar swan dive, from a peak of 12,101 in May to, at this moment, 304." (PC Gamer)
Seems like Battleborn might be a good game but its not a success by any means. I do think the game looks cool and that the characters look interesting but the price tag is annoying considering how few people play the game and how its been out for a while now. Going free to play for this game seems inevitable. However, we'll just have to wait and see in November. Unless we get the scoop sooner.