Borderlands Developers Leave

Several Senior Borderlands Developers Leave Gearbox to Work on New Independent Project

A total of seven senior Borderlands developers are leaving Gearbox Software to work on a new independent project. The senior developers announced the departures internally “about two weeks ago,” many of whom worked on Borderlands 3 and were working on another project in pre-production.

Among the departures includes senior producer for the Borderlands franchise Christopher Brock, lead mission designer Keith Schuler, and art director Scott Kester, all of whom have worked at Gearbox for over a decade. Others include Borderlands 3 creative director Paul Sage, UX director Chris Strasz, and lead character artist Kevin Penrod.

All of the members had been working on a project in pre-production, and according to Gearbox Entertainment founder Randy Pitchford, the departure is “on the best of terms” and “will cause minimal disruption in [the company’s] current plans.” Pitchford adds that, currently, the company is focused on finishing Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands which is reportedly going along on-track.

Another source from inside the company states that the departures represent the exiting of “the studio’s old guard,” and that there is excitement within the studio now that “fresh blood” will be leading projects in their stead. The news comes just two years after the release of the latest mainline Borderlands game, Borderlands 3, which Axios notes likely allowed the devs to collect royalties on the game.

Borderlands 3 released in 2019, selling over 5 million copies in the first five days and breaking several other sales records for publisher 2K Games. While the game was supposed to get cross-platform support earlier this year, the publisher reportedly asked Gearbox to remove the feature from PlayStation consoles only, likely due to the reports that Sony requires compensation for revenue losses caused by cross-play.

The next upcoming Borderlands-related game from Gearbox is Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, which will feature a star-studded cast as well as a unique custom character creation system that is unlike past Borderlands titles. The new name, Wonderlands, represents a wider departure from Borderlands, hoping to usher in a whole new franchise with this spinoff.

The studio members who left to work on their own project don’t yet have a new studio name (at least one that’s public), and it’s unknown what kind of game they are working on yet.

[Source: Axios]