It's no secret that Gearbox Software's new original title Borderlands is a huge success. With massive sales and rave reviews (Metacritic averages it out to 84%), the game is flying high and even creative director Mike Neuman wasn't anticipating it:
Man, I don’t think anybody was. Those don’t happen in the videogame industry very often — where people can’t find your game. Like, even today, I’ve been seeing reports of shortages. We’re shipping as many out to retailers as we can. Some retailers have restocked three or four times already. So we’re loading in as fast as we can. But it certainly doesn’t suck to be the people who made the game you can’t keep in stock.
In an interview with VG247, Neuman answered questions relating to downloadable content, the chances of a sequel, and why there was no demo.
When asked about the creative process for their upcoming DLC - due November 24th - it turns out Mike had a pretty down-to-earth answer:
The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, who is totally not related to Dr. Zed [laughs]. I wrote the script for that… man, it was last month. We went really fast on that. It was, like, once the game was almost all the way through certification, we started working on [the DLC].
We basically just killed ourselves to make some additional content for people, because, I mean, right now, if you look around, there are already people who are like, “I’m level 50 because I haven’t stopped playing for three days straight!” We’re kind of bending over backwards and killing ourselves a little too much to try to satiate that need for more Borderlands.
Which is really cool! It’s just kind of scary when people want content that badly.
That said there's no such luck on the aspect of New DLC or upping the level cap.
We’re not ready to announce anything on level caps right now. Sorry. Good question! But I can’t announce anything right now. We’ve been pretty radio silent on DLC.
However, I'd be pretty surprised if the DLC stopped at The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned. As long as the first DLC gets a decent amount of purchases, it's likely they'll follow up with another: imagine if, for instance, Fallout just released Operation Anchorage. Weird thought. Not to say they're very similar games, but the aspect is the same: These days, DLC comes in bunches.
Neuman would later also tackle the question of why there was no Borderlands Demo. He actually had a pretty good answer for it, too.
At one point, we did come up with an idea for a demo. And it was eight hours long. I mean, if you look at the beginning content for the game — which is the most logical place to do a demo — we were like, “Oh, you can do this, and you can kill [early game boss] Nine Toes!” And there were enough quests where it felt safe, but it was like giving away a whole game’s worth of content for free. Which is a little sketchy. It’s a little hard to make that decision and pull that trigger. Which is not to say that we won’t. We’re still trying to figure out a really smart way to do a demo.
Borderlands is just such an expansive game. So many things can happen at any time. It’s really hard to truncate that down to some bite-sized, “Here’s why you should buy the game” section.
I’m hoping that people are giving each other demos. Skeptical friends are coming over and checking out the game in split-screen, and maybe getting a demo that way. Because word-of-mouth has just been nuts since the game came out.
He was also pretty much spot on: word-of-mouth certainly helped boost the sales and reputation of Borderlands . I'd heard of it from friends before actually going to see it at my own brother's place. It's not often a game can forgo release a demo and still have a commercial success like Borderlands did. It is, indeed, a success - which brings us to the final question of if a Borderlands Sequel is on the horizon:
Yes, I can probably confirm that there’s a chance of a Borderlands 2 [laughs]. I mean, with anything, especially a new IP, if people want more and you can make more, and everybody can make money and do good business there, it obviously makes really good sense to do that. Obviously nothing so far is planned. We’re working on DLC. We haven’t really had any talks about a sequel, other than water cooler talk like, “Wouldn’t this be cool” kind of stuff.
But yeah, Borderlands is really exciting. Everyone here loves the franchise, and it seems like the public is really coming back with praise and love. So yeah, if everything makes sense, Borderlands 2 seems like a no-brainer to me.
So there you have it. Nothing official yet, but it sounds like Gearbox certainly wouldn't mind it.
Are you excited for the Borderlands DLC? How did you find out about Borderlands? And most importantly - did you like the game enough to be interested in a sequel?