Borderlands Dev Talks Halo, Destiny Inspirations

Games like Call of Duty and Destiny have drawn inspiration from Gearbox's "shoot and loot" series, creator says.

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Speaking this past weekend at PAX South, Borderlands franchise creator Matt Armstrong recalled that during early playtests for the original Borderlands (2009), people were easily confused about how its role-playing systems worked, a problem that doesn't exist today given that other FPS games have adopted similar mechanics, he said.

"One of the big difficulties we had, which I think people kinda don't remember as well, [is that] when we started testing [the original Borderlands], it became really clear that nobody knew how to play this game," Armstrong said today an audience (via IGN).

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"Right now, if you give someone who's never played Borderlands a copy of Borderlands 2 they'd pick it up pretty quickly," he added. "Because there's a lot of games that have added role-playing elements to them; Call of Duty has role-playing elements in their multiplayer. Destiny's out there, and that's really cool, and they have a lot of inspiration that they may have taken from us [crowd laughs]."

At this point, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford stepped in to clarify Armstrong's comments, saying that, in fact, Gearbox was inspired by Destiny developer Bungie due to its work on the PC version of Halo: Combat Evolved.

"[Armstrong] didn't mean it like the way you just took it," Pitchford said. "You have to understand that Matt himself learned a lot about procedurally generated worlds from a data-driven system that we learned actually from Bungie when we worked on the Halo franchise."

Armstrong added: "Our [Borderlands] characters' jump height and movement is framed around Halo--that was our starting point. We want this to feel like Halo, because Halo's awesome. We love Halo. There's nothing bad I can say about Halo or Destiny."

Next up for the Borderlands series is March's Handsome Collection, an Xbox One and PlayStation 4 bundle that includes updated versions of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, as well as tons of DLC. Looking beyond that, Gearbox just recently announced plans to start hiring for a project that is likely Borderlands 3.

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