After the first two games did extremely well sales-wise, and were bolstered by copious amounts of post-release DLC, there was little doubt that Borderlands 3 is on the way. What was unclear, however, was whether or not Gearbox Software would be developing it.
Publisher 2K Games has become heavily invested in the Borderlands brand, positioning it as one of the premiere non-military FPS experiences on the market, and a franchise with a strong future. However, the franchise’s success thus far has largely been part and parcel with developer Gearbox Software. Not anymore.
In an interview with Polygon last week, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford confirmed his company would not be developing the next Borderlands game. Pitchford didn’t mince words either, but called the possibility of Gearbox helming a sequel “unqualified.”
The CEO was quick to also share his love for the Borderlands brand, which has been instrumental in Gearbox’s success as a developer. He even teased where he thinks the franchise might go in the future, albeit under new management.
“When you think of what Borderlands 3 should be, it should be massive. It should be bigger and better than Borderlands 2. It should carry forward the story. It’s probably crazy multiplatform, depending on timing. It would have to be a next-gen game and a current-gen game, if it was coming at any time in the reasonably near future.”
That massive approach likely means a long development period for Borderlands 3, and few could argue that the franchise needs a little extra time moving forward. For as much as Borderlands 2 was a success, it wasn’t that much different from the first Borderlands. Read our Borderlands 2 review here. And if Borderlands 3 plans to be bigger, like MMO size in scope and scale, then that will be a massive undertaking for whoever takes over after Gearbox.
However, while Gearbox is moving away from Borderlands, their plate is still plenty full. Pitchford says the developer has two original IPs in development for next-gen, although he wouldn’t say more than that. Those titles are in addition to Borderlands 2 for Vita, assisting Telltale Games with anything they need for Tales from the Borderlands, and two far-off projects: Brothers in Arms: Furious Four and Homeworld.
While the future of the Borderlands franchise holds a lot of questions, fans also have a lot to look forward to. With next-gen hardware at the new Borderlands developer’s fingertips, the potential for a huge experience is there, even if the Gearbox touch will be missing. We’ll see how things shake out for Borderlands in the near (or perhaps far flung) future.
Does your excitement for Borderlands 3 change knowing that Gearbox Software is not working on it? What are your hopes for Borderlands 3?