Gearbox Founder Teases New IP That Could Shake Things Up Like Borderlands Did

Randy Pitchford says Gearbox has "so many new IP concepts" in the incubation phase right now.


The head of Borderlands developer Gearbox Software has teased that the studio is working on ambitious new IP projects that he believes are capable of shaking up the gaming industry and make an impact not dissimilar to Borderlands.

Speaking to VentureBeat about Gearbox's recent sale to Embracer Group for $1.3 billion, Gearbox founder Randy Pitchford teased that the studio has "so many new IP concepts" that the company is incubating right now that are primed to "explode."

Selling Gearbox to Embracer will help allow Gearbox to take bigger risks and make bigger bets that might not have been possible as an independent studio.

"We could wait for the right publishing partner who's willing to make a bet, rather than only take a risk on something they know Gearbox has already done before," he said. "Those publishers that have taken risks on us for what we want to see next have always been rewarded. But for some reason they can't be comfortable with that kind of risk. Now we get to take that risk."

Pitchford didn't reveal any of the specifics of the new IP that Gearbox has in the works, but he said the studio has been successful in "disrupting" gaming in the past with its new ideas. With Borderlands, Pitchford said Gearbox takes credit for creating an action game with RPG mechanics and metagame systems, both of which are now ubiquitous.

Pitchford added that Gearbox is in a unique position because it doesn't have to "burn the boats" to pursue these new IP projects. Making a comparison to Epic Games, Pitchford said Epic "burned the boats" when it sold Gears of War to Microsoft to give them the money to make something brand-new that turned out to be Fortnite.

"We don't have to do that. We can maximally deliver on the IP we have and pursue new IP as a consequence of this relationship. That's incredibly exciting for me. I feel like we're just getting started," he said.

Also in the interview, Pitchford said he's no longer a spring chicken, so he made this deal with Embracer in part to realize some of his ambitions while he still has time.

"I don't know how many years I have left, but I want to get as much done as I can while I'm still useful to this industry, while I'm still useful to people who want video games. I'll do it as long as the world wants me to. I intend to die in office. I hope that's a long time from now," he said.

Despite Gearbox's sale to Embracer, the company remains in business with 2K Games for the Borderlands series. However, no new titles in the franchise have been announced.

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