Of the many science fiction film contributions, many can agree Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is one of the best. Adapted from the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner will always have a special part in nerd culture. You may find the news of Gearbox Software obtaining the rights to create a Blade Runner video game amazing, but company CEO, Randy Pitchford thought otherwise.
There have been two Blade Runner games in gaming history, one releasing back in 1985 for the Commodore 64 and the other releasing in 1997 for the PC. Of the two, the latter game was actually very good and offered a very interesting side story in the Blade Runner universe that still paid homage to the film’s canon. The license has been floating around for quite some time until Gearbox Software was lucky enough to obtain it, alongside the license enabling them to create Aliens: Colonial Marines. Ironically, Pitchford admits that Gearbox should have held off on announcing Aliens.
So why did Gearbox opt out of creating a Blade Runner game? Pitchford stated in an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine that creating such a game “would have been the end of the company.”
Not exactly light words to speak of, so what’s the man got to say about it?
“No, we can’t. That game would’ve cost like $40m to make and sold about 600,000 units – and that would have been the end of us.
“There’s no rational business model that would have allowed that to make sense. If we’d made it with a business model that did work, it would not have been the Blade Runner game we all would have wanted.”
That’s a pretty good point to make. Outside of the point-and-click adventure game of 1997, it’s hard to imagine what kind of game Gearbox, who has been specializing in first person shooters, could create for Blade Runner. Pitchford might have come to the same kind of conclusion and opted out of making the game.
Was this is a wise decision for the company in the long run? Perhaps. When Gearbox took up the reins for the poorly reviewed Duke Nukem Forever, that may have also had a hand in the decision making process for Blade Runner. As unfortunate as it might be that the world might not see another game in Los Angeles 2019, that may be the best for everyone.
Gearbox’s latest game, Duke Nukem Forever, is available now on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
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