Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Is a "Full-Blown" Borderlands Game
"This is a full-blown game; this is a AAA release," Take-Two president Karl Slatoff says.
Following Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford's announcement this year that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is smaller than 2012 predecessor Borderlands 2 and might not sell for full-price, some might have wondered if it is indeed a bonafide installment in the series. The answer is yes, it is, according to Take-Two Interactive president Karl Slatoff.
"This is a full-blown game; this is a AAA release," Slatoff said this week during the MKM Partners Investor Day Conference. "So I would think about The Pre-Sequel like we think about anything else."
Borderlands 2 has shipped more than 10 million units to date, and Slatoff said about The Pre-Sequel's sales opportunity, "We'd like all of our games to sell 10 million-plus units."
However, Slatoff also said it would be unrealistic to assume that everyone who bought Borderlands 2 would also buy The Pre-Sequel. Despite this, Slatoff pointed out that there is no reason for fans to see The Pre-Sequel as anything other than a full-blown Borderlands title because "it really is something that's special."
One of the main reasons why Borderlands fans should be excited for The Pre-Sequel, according to Slatoff, is the game's setting--one of Pandora's moons. Playing in this environment is "scratching an itch" for many players, Slatoff said.
Also during the talk, Slatoff was asked why The Pre-Sequel is not shipping on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. He said this is a question that Take-Two gets asked "a lot," and explained that a number of factors--but mostly time and money--played into the decision to make The Pre-Sequel exclusive to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
"When we're making a decision about which platforms to release a game on, there are a few components that go into it. The first is 'Which platforms can support the creative vision for the game itself?' That's a very important component," he said. "It may be the most important component, because obviously you want to make sure what ever platform you're releasing on can actually deliver the creative vision of your talent. That's very critical for us.
"The other component is timing; when do you want to release it? Also, how much do you want to spend? And they're related, because in our business, time is money," he added. "So if you've got an ideal release window that you're trying to hit and also a pre-conceived budget that you're trying to hit, that can also influence what platforms you decide to release on. And the last component is the install base of the platform. Is there is enough audience there to justify a project being released on that platform? And I think when you look at all of those considerations together, obviously those four factors drove us to the decision on releasing it on [Xbox 360, PS3, PC]. The install base is there, it's great timing; we love our release window for this one; and the creative vision is...we can deliver on the creative vision on those platforms."
The Xbox 360 and PS3 console generation has shifted over 160 million combined units, and when you factor in PC, the number of addressable platforms grows even further. But is Take-Two missing out on revenue by skipping over Xbox One and PS4, which together have sold around 15 million units?
"There are people out there that maybe have gotten rid of their [Xbox 360 or PS3] systems and are just looking for [Xbox One and PS4] content. So to say that it has no effect on what you otherwise would have sold...that certainly is possible," he said. "But really, looking at it holistically from a profit perspective, I don't think it's going to affect us at all. And I think we've made the right decision from a profitability perspective."
The Pre-Sequel launches October 14. As for the next numbered entry in the series, Pitchford said earlier this year that he is somewhat "scared" of the idea of Borderlands 3, which the studio is not working on.
Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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