Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford had a surprise in store when he took the stage at GDC today during Epic’s Unreal Engine panel. Pitchford showed off a demo that Gearbox built within Unreal Engine 4 and said that the technology shown will “power the next Borderlands game.”
Pitchford repeatedly stated that what he was showing was a “technology demonstration” and not a video game, but that didn’t stop observers from noticing that the demo’s graphics and artwork featured Borderlands unique style and looked very much like what one would expect from a next-gen Borderlands title.
Pitchford said Gearbox hopes to use Unreal Engine 4 to make Borderlands’ distinctive look appear more natural but also more complex. Apparently, the presentation got a little heavy with industry jargon, with Pitchford talking about “variable line weights” and additional geek-speak, but the main takeaway here is that the tech demo looked really promising.
A video of the entire Unreal Engine 4 panel can be found on Twitch, but here’s a glimpse of the last 30 seconds of Pitchford’s presentation when the camera pulled back to show the entire scene in detail:
“It gives you a sense of what a future game from Gearbox might look like,” Pitchford told the crowd. “I do want to remind you, this is not a video game, this is a technology demonstration of some ongoing research and development at Gearbox Software. Some or all of the technologies that I demonstrated may be utilized for future Gearbox Software video games.”
“If you’re a customer that’s looking forward to a future Borderlands game, we’re working on it,” Pitchford added with a grin. “We’ll get you soon.”
This isn’t the first time Pitchford has teased fans about Borderlands 3. Last spring, the Gearbox president and CEO confirmed the game’s development during a panel at PAX East 2016, after noting that Borderlands 2 is the best-selling 2K game ever.
Pitchford said at the time that the game’s title is still up in the air and might not even be called Borderlands 3. It was also disclosed that Borderlands 2 art director Scott Kester will return as art director for Borderlands 3 and that the game’s story will be penned by Gearbox creative chief Mikey Neumann, who is responsible for writing the first game in the series.
Borderlands 3 has no release date but is presumably in development for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The most recent release in the series is Borderlands: The Handsome Collection which is out now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The collection contains Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel along with all DLC released for both games.