Gearbox considered, dismissed Blade Runner game

Borderlands studio said that bringing Ridley Scott's epic to consoles would have bankrupted company.

Gearbox Software hasn't been shy about picking up the rights to high-profile action films over the years, having signed on to build games based on the likes of James Cameron's Aliens and Michael Mann's Heat. Bringing these games to market has been a different story, however, as the studio officially walked away from Heat and has had an off-again, on-again relationship with Aliens.

Blade Runner isn't an IP to be trifled with.

Now, it appears as if one more property Gearbox grabbed and tossed was Ridley Scott's acclaimed sci-fi epic Blade Runner. Speaking to the Official PlayStation Magazine, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said that Blade Runner was among a number of IPs that his studio had acquired the rights to. However, due to financial concerns, Pitchford said that Gearbox had abandoned the project.

"Blade Runner was on [the list]," he said. "We had it too and we were like, 'No, we can't.' That game would've cost like $40 million 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."

Pitchford went on to note that Gearbox had progressed so far as to consult with Scott on a direction for the game. Based on Philip K. Dick's classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner starred Harrison Ford and arrived in theaters in 1982.

As for where Gearbox is finding success with film-to-game adaptations, the studio is prepping Aliens: Colonial Marines for release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in early 2012. Gearbox is also investigating whether it wants to bring Colonial Marines to Nintendo's upcoming Wii U.

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Discussion

128 comments
jefflanglois
jefflanglois

Team Bondi should do it! With their facial animations they can recreate the emotion of the movie and the dark atmosphere of the film noir genre. A kind of futuristic L.A Noire... with the Voight-Kampf test of course! And whiskey on the table while scanning the pictures of those Replicants!

lithus
lithus

@Tekcor: seriously? umm it's not like Gearbox was forced to take on this project, let alone "inherit" anything. They purposely bought the license and hyped it. It was a bad investment that essentially blew up in their faces. Pitchford could have said "No". Ask yourself "As a studio head, would you have taken a 14 year old one-hit-wonder title, that was essentially broken and tried to make it work in less than 9 months?" I don't need to be a financial/marketing/gaming expert to say no.

Tekcor
Tekcor

@lithus Gearbox had very little to do with DNF. Sure, they may be the logo on the box art, but there isn't a company in the world that could take a 14-year-old awful game from 3D Realms and make it good in 8 months. They inherited the game and were tasked with nothing more than getting it out the door, and that's what they did.

lithus
lithus

Gearbox needs to stop ruining my childhood memories...Pitchford is like George Lucas...only Pitchford ruins OTHER peoples works. After DNF, Gearbox should be hiding under a rock in the Yukon while the dust settles.

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

No matter how good it was, 600K units sold still sounds about right. if you just put the name Rockstar on it, it would easily double, but Gearbox doesn't have that luxury.

TheMegatonNuke
TheMegatonNuke

Was not a fan of Blade Runner to be honest :/ and I'm glad they didn't go through with this game. *braces for thumbs down rape*

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

I tyhink a bladerunner game would be absolutly amazing...Oh Well At least I'll have Prey and Deus Ex..Which somewhat look the same

SnakeEyesX80
SnakeEyesX80

I think if it could have been done in a Shadowrun style ARPG, Blade Runner might have worked. Something kind of like Anachronox and Omikron. Maybe Rockstar could give it a shot. It'd be cool to see a GTAIV-esque city (with a lot of small details, only not as cartoony looking) set as a back drop while doing detective work. Having the LA Noire style interrogations would be pretty cool as well.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Duke really screwed these guys over... (not really dukes fault really..) They are my favorite dev team. I need another Borderlands PLEASE!!!!

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Seems like a smart decision. Blade Runner as a game would be tough to pull off.

scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

The new Deus Ex will be close enough for my "Blade Runner would probably be cool to play as a video game" fix. Deus Ex seems to be going in the right direction, and I'm happy that Gearbox had the sense to kill this Blade Runner idea when they new it might not have been that great. It would be really hard (nigh impossible) to capture the feel and coolness of the original 1982 film in a mainstream video game.

HailHellfire
HailHellfire

it would be hard to remake the feelings that fans have/had with Bladerunner, if it was a video game... for that reason alone, it would have been either a slight hit or a big miss... it was probably a good idea that Gearbox scrapped this project... i would like a game to have the Bladerunner atmosphere... it doesn't generally have to be Bladerunner, but the backgrounds/city-scapes, with a Bladerunner feel to it... something new... i wouldn't mind if they meshed it up with Total Recall/Fifth Element backgrounds/city-scapes/character ideas... as if each one of those worlds, were a different city in one big world... but that is just me... they need more Epic, open world Sci-Fi games on the market... looking forward to the new Deus Ex, Mass Effect, & Prey 2...

sither03
sither03

Bladerunner = bad movie...Bladerunner directors cut = great movie! I totally respect gearbox's decision, theres no point in making a game thats going to ruin you, but fair play to them for ditching it rather than producing a sub par game

DarkPhoneix85
DarkPhoneix85

I think if anybody ever did want to do a Blade Runner video game, it would have to be a mix of Prey 2 & Deus Ex Human Revolution's mechanics and a bit of L.A Noire's motionscan tech and detective gameplay. fair enough if it never gets made. I consider Blade Runner one of the best sci-fi movies ever, so i respect the decision not to go through with it, if it couldn't be done to perfection.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Gearbox is a great company making great games. It's obvious they are gamers at heart. So I applaud their decision of not making an obvious mistake. Movie based game are rarely great. It would have taken a lot of money to make it great, and it would still have required a heavy licensing fee. They don't need an existing license to make a great game. They proved it with Boderlands. All I need is them to make good games with lot's of content. And an original IP is even better than any movie based IP they could throw at me.

Krusnikzero2
Krusnikzero2

Bladerunner is one of my favorite movies, but some things are meant to stay in their original medium. Let Deus Ex cover the gaming front of this particular style of Sci-Fi

Franzkill
Franzkill

Slightly off topic but give me a thumbs up if you think Deckard is a replicant or a thumbs down if you think Deckard isn't a replicant :)

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Phil-teh-Pirate and LoveShack and let's not forget King Kong and James Bond: The World Is Not Enough. Spider-Man 2 was also a decent game based on a movie. But I agree that the majority of movie tie-in games are rushed cash grabs that generally suck, which is a shame as there is a lot of lost potential on many of those licenses.

endgamez
endgamez

Thank God this didn't happen! Blade Runner should just be left the hell alone. Deus Ex will be close enough, original and awesome to boot. that's just fine by me.

HailHellfire
HailHellfire

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mattcake
mattcake

Get Aliens right first, and then we will see. Ruin too many of my favourite films and you can bugger right off :)

smoman5000
smoman5000

Of course they wouldnt jump on a good idea, videogame companies rarely do.

GibbetSt-Slashr
GibbetSt-Slashr

ever since i saw that 'furious 4' trailer from E3, i've gone reyt off Gearbox

shadow-crow
shadow-crow

@RandomGSer actualy the first game kinda did

RandomGSer
RandomGSer

Im kinda glad. No game would do the movie justice.

LoveSack
LoveSack

@Phil-teh-Pirate yeah that is true, it is a bit of a taboo, escpecially when considering blade-runner's legacy. although in all fairness, whenever there is a rubbish movie-game tie in, i never think of the game, but the film. even if its rubbish, it's not like the film will be ruined. the game will just slip into obscurity and be forgotten while the legacy of the film stands alone. So i say they might aswell give it a try

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

@LoveSack Sure those were good games, I stand corrected. But the ratio of success to failure heavily implies that its a taboo area.

suprsolider
suprsolider

@Phil-teh-Pirate, The only good Back to the Future games we got were the new Telltale game and Super Back to the Future 2. The rest are complete dog poop.

SpacePirate6
SpacePirate6

Can you guys imagine the incredible costumes and set pieces of Blade Runner in a bustling and interactive three dimensional environment designed and engineered by the best and brightest in the industry? I mean, wow... that would be one helluva game... I mean, I'm not saying that if the game was made it would be great just because of the movies artistic success, but I'm just saying that the prospect of neon lights and smoke and nightime and replicants and future yet ramshackle cars and buildings and asian culture and seedy cops and the detector tests and Sebastian's house done REALLY well in a video game makes me want to weep. That's all.

LoveSack
LoveSack

@Phil-teh-Pirate thats not really true, is it? there have been plenty of awesome movie based games since the snes and megadrive like Golden eye, Chronicles of Riddick, AVP 2, The Thing ( amazing ), Star wars battlefront, Tron 2.0....etc. although i do agree Aladin was great, i'd still love to see a Blade runner game

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Does it need a game? We haven't had a truly good movie to game conversion since the Megadrive and SNES days (I'm looking at you Terminator, Lion King, Aladdin and any of the Back to the Future games).

capt_karem
capt_karem

Think L.A. Noire with stronger action elements. The Voightt-Kampff test would translate well to the interogation mechanic.

pjordan0404
pjordan0404

No company could capture the amazingness of blade runner anyways.

lamprey263
lamprey263

I'd be interested in a Blade Runner game, but I think they're right in that it wouldn't be too popular; too bad though. Maybe if the right studio with a big reputation were to publish it, like Rockstar, maybe it would capture the right audience. Having Rockstar publish LA Noire really helped that game out, if anybody could pull it off maybe it's them. Just have Gearbox make it and Rockstar publish it they could have a decent go at it.

electronic_eye
electronic_eye

@parrot_of_adun - thanks! very cool. now if only we could get some details on it.

capt_karem
capt_karem

I would have definitely bought this one! BR is the best sci fi film ever made...

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

They could've named it Electric Sea horse, as long as it was marketed properly, and was actually a good title, I think people would've purchased it.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

I would have been interested. A lot of pressure on a title/IP like that, I agree.

redskinStu
redskinStu

Expectations would have been very high.

tko6070
tko6070

Blade runner is too existential and symbolic to become a successful game. Best left in the realm of novelists and directors bygone.

electronic_eye
electronic_eye

I just think it's cool that Gearbox is willing to try new things and take some risks. I love Borderlands and that def had some major risks involved. On a related note, Ridley Scott is seriously overdue to get back to his sci-fi film-making roots!!

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

How could Studio / Developer buy all those expensive IP(s)?? Randy Pitchford is crazy.

user_93475765
user_93475765

Blade Runner's a classic. You could make the greatest game of all time and it still wouldn't live up to fan expectations. Better to just leave it alone and get to work on Borderlands 2. NOW, plz.

syam32245340
syam32245340

don't know about this blade runner :lol:

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

blade runner was a great movie but I rather see the movie turned into a game later on when our gaming tech is stronger and more evolved. As of right now I just see the game just falling short of what it could be...

EvilTyger
EvilTyger

I think an Indigo Prophecy type game set in the Blade Runner universe could work. I think making the game a sequel to the movie could work. I think the movie itself would make a lousy transition to a game.

sandgroper
sandgroper

@khasym when the movie came out in theatres, it had a butchered ending. that aside, there doesn't need to be a blade runner game, I doubt any modern developers could top the original PC game that came out way back when. dont look up the gamespot review of that game, it is completely wrong (they didn't have the highest quality writers in the 90s)