Responding to a fan on Twitter, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford indicates that there are no plans to bring the upcoming Borderlands 3 to the Nintendo Switch.
One of the promises Nintendo has made with the Nintendo Switch is that it will have full third-party support, which would make it a viable alternative to the PS4 and Xbox One. However, when Nintendo revealed the lineup of Switch games coming in 2017, it became clear that most titles in the pipeline are first-party games, or outside developers working with Nintendo franchises. Most big third-party games seem to be skipping the Nintendo Switch, and now fans can add the upcoming Borderlands 3 to the list.
Responding to a fan on Twitter, Gearbox Software’s Randy Pitchford explained that the studio was once in talks with Nintendo to bring Borderlands 3 to the Switch. According to Pitchford, Nintendo cut off communication with Gearbox for no apparent reason, and so he doesn’t think the studio will be bringing Borderlands 3 to the Switch.
@dECU_nutt I do not see that as happening. We were talking to Nintendo, but that stopped for some reason. They have other priorities.— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 15, 2017
Borderlands 3, which may release with a different title, hasn’t even been formally announced by Gearbox. Even so, the Borderlands franchise is one of the strongest newer IPs in gaming, selling millions of copies since its introduction in 2009, and it skipping the Switch is not good news for Nintendo’s new system. Considering the success of the franchise, it’s unclear why Nintendo stopped negotiations with Gearbox.
Perhaps Nintendo backed out after Gearbox’s track record as of late. Aliens: Colonial Marines was a critically-panned mess when it launched in 2013, and Battleborn was a flop. Gearbox has also shown an inability to follow through with some of its projects, like the Brothers in Arms reboot game that has been stuck in development hell. Outside of Borderlands, Gearbox has struggled to deliver a hit in recent years.
Nintendo may be weary of working with Gearbox because of some of its weaker titles, but alternatively, Nintendo may have decided to focus its resources on first-party games instead. Even though the Switch is lacking third-party games, it does have some blockbuster first-party releases scheduled for 2017, including the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. Maybe Nintendo feels as though these first-party release will be enough to convince consumers to purchase a Switch, even if it means missing out on games like Borderlands 3.
Whatever the reason for Nintendo backing out of the deal to bring the new Borderlands game to Nintendo Switch, hopefully it’s not a sign of things to come. Wii U’s abysmal third-party support could be partially blamed for its inability to click with gamers, so for the sake of Nintendo fans, here’s hoping the Switch doesn’t miss out on too many of the AAA games on the horizon.
Borderlands 3 is in development for unspecified platforms.