Battleborn Is Gearbox's "Biggest Investment" Ever
"We don't even know if people will be interested or not."
Borderlands developer Gearbox Software's upcoming shooter Battleborn represents the company's "biggest investment" ever, according to CEO Randy Pitchford. In a new interview with Polygon, Pitchford described the game as a "big bet."
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"We've invested more than Borderlands 1 and 2 added together into Battleborn," he said. "And we don't even know if people will be interested or not."
Pitchford went on to say that when other similar-looking games like Blizzard's Overwatch and LawBreakers from Cliff Bleszinski started showing up, Gearbox knew it was onto something.
"When other people started showing up with things that touched on it, it actually motivated us," he said. "First, there's some competition, which is a fun challenge. But also, wow, those guys are really smart, too and they think there's something here. Maybe we're not crazy after all; maybe there's a customer for this game."
"It's challenging, too, because no one is doing quite what we're doing," he added. "Most people are using a free-to-play angle or some other stuff. But we make AAA--you spend your money and you know you've got a full product and a valuable product and you've got a full experience there."
In addition to its multiplayer mode, Battleborn sports a "big, robust campaign," Pitchford said, acknowledging that, although the game arrives in May, Gearbox hasn't yet revealed everything there is to know about it.
On the subject of head-to-head multiplayer, Pitchford said Gearbox "doubled down" here in a way that the company hasn't done since it worked on Halo: Combat Evolved and Counter-Strike.
Also in the interview, Pitchford said one of the issues with its popular Borderlands series is that it can take up dozens of hours to max out a character. In Battleborn, you will get to see the "full growth potential" of every character in a single match, though Pitchford also explained that there is a meta-growth system also available.
The interview also touched on Gearbox's future plans outside of Battleborn. Around 80 percent of the 300-strong team at Gearbox's headquarters in Texas are working on Battleborn. The rest are plugging away at "a couple other things" related to Gearbox's other existing franchises and multiple new IPs.
One of the new projects is a Brothers in Arms game. This is in "really early pre-production," Pitchford said, echoing comments he made about the game last year.
"There's the Brothers in Arms game that it deserves to be and that's--if we announce it, when we announce it, it will be because we figured that out and we're ready to actually say, 'Here's a product,'" he said. "I don't have a product yet. We have ideas and we do pre-production and concept development."
This Brothers in Arms game is not anything like Furious 4. This World War II game was shelved, though some remnants of it ended up in Battleborn, Pitchford said.
Gearbox has also confirmed it's working on a third installment in the mainline Borderlands series, while a "head-turning" new Duke Nukem game is also in the early stages of development.
You can listen to the full Polygon interview here.
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