Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Dev 2K Australia Closes Its Doors

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Dev 2K Australia Closes Its Doors

blps_e3_vaulthunters

2K Australia was the last of Australia's big, AAA-style developers.

A bit of sad news for you folks today. A source close to Kotaku Australia has informed the outlet that 2K Australia - the guys behind the recently released Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - is closing its Canberra studio and letting go all of its employees. 2K Australia was the last major AAA-style developer operating out of the country, and as well as The Pre-Sequel, worked on other 2K titles such as BioShock and XCOM.

2K offered the following statement, giving some hope that not all staffers had been canned, and some could relocated to other studios:

We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process for 2K Australia in order to better manage ongoing development costs while improving the working proximity of our creative teams. We are very grateful for the team's valuable contributions to numerous 2K projects, and are working with affected staff to explore reassignment opportunities where possible.

Kotaku's source claims that at one point, a move to Melbourne was being planned, in an attempt to help attract new talent to the studio. This allegedly caused many high-level members of the team to leave and that may have factored into 2K's decision to shut down the studio.

The extremely high cost of operating a game development studio in Australia was most likely to blame for the ultimate decision.

It's always a shame to see game developers close their doors, but this one is particularly sad as it signifies the end of AAA development in Australia.

Source: Kotaku

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Well fuck. The Aussie games industry has died rapidly over the last few years, but I always hoped that these guys would hang on. After all, they were actually pretty good, and compared to some of the other AAA companies 2K are pretty alright.
Sad news indeed.

That sucks...

I have two cousins, one who just graduated from animation and the other wants to get into game design, who live in Melbourne. This will probably make it harder for them to follow their careers. Why did they close though? Just because the wanted to move to Melbourne? If the staff really didn't like that decision, why force the issue and not let them stay where they were?

Fuck. Me. Dead.

That's a right royal shame, here's hoping all those people find somewhere to go. Those guys are awesome.

The real pain in the arse is that there's no one currently running things in the government who probably gives a shit, and wouldn't think that game development is worthy of the kind of funding and tax credits (necessary to attract the required talent and interest to keep the industry going) that they hand out to our fuckin' film industry and what have you.

LongAndShort:
Fuck. Me. Dead.

That's a right royal shame, here's hoping all those people find somewhere to go. Those guys are awesome.

The real pain in the arse is that there's no one currently running things in the government who probably gives a shit, and wouldn't think that game development is worthy of the kind of funding and tax credits (necessary to attract the required talent and interest to keep the industry going) that they hand out to our fuckin' film industry and what have you.

Yeah because when commodities prices are collapsing that accounts for 12% of the Australian economy and employs 100,000s of people, what you need to do is give tax breaks to industry that employs less 10,000 people.

Blah. I used to know one of the guys who worked there, and they were a well known presence in the local area. Good luck to them.

I've been expecting Take Two to shut down one of there 2K studio's for awhile but I thought it would be either 2K Czech or 2K Marin neither of which have released a hit since 2010.

Not surprising in the slightest.

Thankfully the indie development scene here seems to be growing still, so not all bad news.

Australia is a terrible place to develop games. I'm pretty sure the only reason they maintained a presence there was because of the talent they had there. Once they jumped ship when they tried to move to a major city the reason for it's existence became a question mark.

At least this wasn't a failed studio or something that swung too big and missed. Just a country whose policies are openly antagonistic to video games and costly to maintain a studio at.

Sorry for people losing their jobs but to be fair Pre-Sequel was pretty uninspired. This is coming from someone who absolutely loves the Borderlands franchise. It felt like playing through the worst b2 dlc.

With the exception of Claptrap none of the characters were at all interesting in either abilities or dialog. The enemies had much less personality in pre-sequel than in B2, the environments were really boring and the quests were all totally forgettable. Except mr torgue talking like a SJW in that one early quest was fairly hilarious.

Oh and the bug permanently sticking you in slow mode didnt help.

I wonder why Australians are so bad at making video games. Might have something to do with their toilets flushing the wrong way.

synobal:
I wonder why Australians are so bad at making video games. Might have something to do with their toilets flushing the wrong way.

I don't think they are bad at making games, I mean look at the titles that 2K made. They were good games. I think the problem is on the governmental side of the equation. Regulations, fees, and probably tons of other things that we don't see on this side of the situation as the consumer. It's probably just not very cost effective given the environment.

Damn, I'm halfway through my degree in computer game design here in Australia. I hope the Indie scene is more forgiving.

Upsetting, though I do admit, I heard that Borderlands 'The Prequel' was an okay but uninspired product. Oh well, there goes Australia. Well, I'm sure there are lots of juicy roles going at Rockstar North in Edinburgh if you fancy little cities with castles on top.

It's a shame, but it doesn't surprise me. I don't think TPS has been selling that well. Also, they fucked something up with the game to keep me from playing it. I mean, I didn't dislike TPS, but I barely got anywhere in the game, and I stopped playing it and have no desire to continue it. For me to feel that way about a Borderlands game, something is seriously wrong.

That sucks, since The Pre-Sequel is easily my favorite in the Borderlands series since it fixes a lot of the problems of 2.

And they knocked Claptastic Voyage out of the park, easily my favorite DLC now.

The presequel needed better writers and level-set piece designers. As rembrandtqeinstein said it feeled like a bad dlc, more like a series of long, bad dlc's put together. I finish B2 twice (and various dlc) but can't be bothered to finish the presequel. On the other hand those people worked with bioshock and xcom so..

Are people really super surprised? I mean its not like Borderlands 3 was ground breaking and sold gang busters.
Sad about Bioshock, but then again Infinite didn't live up to the critics ever so advanced tastes, so again no real surprise there.

albino boo:

LongAndShort:
Fuck. Me. Dead.

That's a right royal shame, here's hoping all those people find somewhere to go. Those guys are awesome.

The real pain in the arse is that there's no one currently running things in the government who probably gives a shit, and wouldn't think that game development is worthy of the kind of funding and tax credits (necessary to attract the required talent and interest to keep the industry going) that they hand out to our fuckin' film industry and what have you.

Yeah because when commodities prices are collapsing that accounts for 12% of the Australian economy and employs 100,000s of people, what you need to do is give tax breaks to industry that employs less 10,000 people.

And has been more successful than other parts of what I carefully call the 'Australian arts' to which we already give millions of dollars, but have the advantage of adding to a traditional and conservative view of Australian prestige.

Not to mention that with the fall of commodity prices and borrowing at its cheapest this is the best time to invest in the service and technology industries that are already carrying the Australian economy.

12%? Fuck mate, last financial year Sydney made up 23% of Australia's GDP and accounted for 37.9% of the economy's growth. Finance, service and technology, that's where our future lies. Besides, I'd rather they give tax breaks to the blokes at 2K Australia than fuckin' Rio Tinto.

Australia, where gaming goes to die...

All joking aside this is some damn sad news, these guys put out some top notch stuff. But here's hoping the affected creative talent gets to stay with 2K or get hired by someone else willing to use them to their fullest potential. Seriously though, I'm blaming this one on Australia.

Happyninja42:

synobal:
I wonder why Australians are so bad at making video games. Might have something to do with their toilets flushing the wrong way.

I don't think they are bad at making games, I mean look at the titles that 2K made. They were good games. I think the problem is on the governmental side of the equation. Regulations, fees, and probably tons of other things that we don't see on this side of the situation as the consumer. It's probably just not very cost effective given the environment.

Exactly, unless the studio makes absolutely benign games like, "Elmo goes to Washington" then Australia basically treats you like you're trying to peddle cigarettes to children.

LongAndShort:

albino boo:

LongAndShort:
Fuck. Me. Dead.

That's a right royal shame, here's hoping all those people find somewhere to go. Those guys are awesome.

The real pain in the arse is that there's no one currently running things in the government who probably gives a shit, and wouldn't think that game development is worthy of the kind of funding and tax credits (necessary to attract the required talent and interest to keep the industry going) that they hand out to our fuckin' film industry and what have you.

Yeah because when commodities prices are collapsing that accounts for 12% of the Australian economy and employs 100,000s of people, what you need to do is give tax breaks to industry that employs less 10,000 people.

And has been more successful than other parts of what I carefully call the 'Australian arts' to which we already give millions of dollars, but have the advantage of adding to a traditional and conservative view of Australian prestige.

Not to mention that with the fall of commodity prices and borrowing at its cheapest this is the best time to invest in the service and technology industries that are already carrying the Australian economy.

12%? Fuck mate, last financial year Sydney made up 23% of Australia's GDP and accounted for 37.9% of the economy's growth. Finance, service and technology, that's where our future lies. Besides, I'd rather they give tax breaks to the blokes at 2K Australia than fuckin' Rio Tinto.

Ask Rhode island how subsiding the games industry turned out.

Well, hopefully one of the 2K studios will keep producing Pre-Sequel DLC. Remember when they made promises about the season pass and how much content it would include? I'd hate to see what would happen if they don't.

2K Australia was only an assistant developer for the Borderlands and Bioshock (except the 2nd one) games there main developers are Irrational and Gearbox.

Always sad to see a studio close but there is always hope that the people that worked there can still find a place somewhere else or even make their own.

While I did enjoy Pre-sequel for the most part I do feel that they relied too heavily on mob spamming and padding length, especially with the Clap-tastic Voyage expansion.

Happyninja42:

synobal:
I wonder why Australians are so bad at making video games. Might have something to do with their toilets flushing the wrong way.

I don't think they are bad at making games, I mean look at the titles that 2K made. They were good games. I think the problem is on the governmental side of the equation. Regulations, fees, and probably tons of other things that we don't see on this side of the situation as the consumer. It's probably just not very cost effective given the environment.

High cost of living due to expensive rents/house prices means they have to be paid relatively higher wages to be competitive. Plus we don't really have the ideal internet infrastructure here.

It's a real shame, but neither government is going to do anything to turn that around in a hurry.

albino boo:

LongAndShort:

albino boo:

Yeah because when commodities prices are collapsing that accounts for 12% of the Australian economy and employs 100,000s of people, what you need to do is give tax breaks to industry that employs less 10,000 people.

And has been more successful than other parts of what I carefully call the 'Australian arts' to which we already give millions of dollars, but have the advantage of adding to a traditional and conservative view of Australian prestige.

Not to mention that with the fall of commodity prices and borrowing at its cheapest this is the best time to invest in the service and technology industries that are already carrying the Australian economy.

12%? Fuck mate, last financial year Sydney made up 23% of Australia's GDP and accounted for 37.9% of the economy's growth. Finance, service and technology, that's where our future lies. Besides, I'd rather they give tax breaks to the blokes at 2K Australia than fuckin' Rio Tinto.

Ask Rhode island how subsiding the games industry turned out.

Haha, fair point. I'd return that it doesn't necessarily have to be subsidisation, but a little bit of incentivisation wouldn't hurt (similar to the kind of programs that have been used in the past to attract skilled labour and investment) especially since it still exists for far less profitable industries (I'd like to direct you to how much money was wasted keeping a few hundred people employed on the show 'Sea Patrol'), and investment into the necessary infrastructure to allow the growth certainly wouldn't be that bad (there shouldn't have been such a bloody-minded fight over a national fibre optic network for starters). I'd also point out that until it was pulled away in last year's inexcusable attempt at a budget there was funding available for start-up small and indie game developers, most of whom have been a good investment.

I suppose my point is that done right this is an industry that we should be investing in. Problem is that the people holding the purse strings aren't even interested in trying.

Signa:
It's a shame, but it doesn't surprise me. I don't think TPS has been selling that well. Also, they fucked something up with the game to keep me from playing it. I mean, I didn't dislike TPS, but I barely got anywhere in the game, and I stopped playing it and have no desire to continue it. For me to feel that way about a Borderlands game, something is seriously wrong.

I got that feeling as well, and I've played nearly 400 hours of BL2, just on two characters and still didn't finish everything. Only managed to get through one playthrough on TPS, and didn't even hit the level cap.

Bob_McMillan:
That sucks...

I have two cousins, one who just graduated from animation and the other wants to get into game design, who live in Melbourne. This will probably make it harder for them to follow their careers. Why did they close though? Just because the wanted to move to Melbourne? If the staff really didn't like that decision, why force the issue and not let them stay where they were?

My brother worked for a game developer based in Melbourne before it went belly-up. Unfortunately the Australian gaming industry had a boom about a decade ago and now it is going bust. Your cousins might want to consider moving to Montreal; that's what my brother did before he got jaded with the whole thing.

That said I was speaking to him today and he said that unless you're interested in making mobile phone games in Australia, you're pretty much fucked.

Well fuck. And I was just replaying Bioshock too. I was trying a Revolver and Plasmid only run (spoiler alert: you're fucked if the camera in Hephaestus explodes.)

They did some damn fine work, time for a moment of silence.

Yes, let's all bemoan the death of the studio that brought us... the shittiest Borderlands game and a terrible "XCOM" (quotation marks intended) game. Sure, they helped out on the Bioshock games, but so what? Seriously, a mediocre dev studio tanked. If it weren't for the Aussie angle, it would be fairly unremarkable...

Two thoughts come to mind, firstly that sucks for anyone in Australia that wants to get into the game industry. With all the studios gone its "emigrate or forget it", who knows how many talented & creative people that the global industry will lose because of the situation.

Secondly it plain sucks when publishers shut a studio straight after they finish the project they are working on, I would hate to have a job where you have to work incredibly hard with loads of extra (and often unpaid) hours at the cost of your personal life like the way they have to "crunch" in games development and be worrying that at the end of years worth of work you might be facing unemployment.

Months worth of long hours, maybe unpaid and then now knowing if you will get the sack. Thats f**king awful. Those people have my sympathy.

We wanna bring our teams closer together. So we'll fire one of them. Now we're closer.

For the last 20 years there have been ways of crossing geological boundaries guys, so what gives?
There might be several understandable reasons to want to let go of a certain asset to your company, but screw 2K anyway for effectively trampling on the Aus game industry just like EA did with Pandemic Studios.

Silentpony:
Are people really super surprised? I mean its not like Borderlands 3 was ground breaking and sold gang busters.
Sad about Bioshock, but then again Infinite didn't live up to the critics ever so advanced tastes, so again no real surprise there.

Y'know Infinite, that critical darling and commercial success?

OT: I imagine this studio shutting down is only made somewhat tragic by it's Australian links. I wonder what it is about Australia that so drives the game industry away.

BUT BUT DIVERSITY INCLUSSIVENESS....yeah no. Also i get the feeling visceral wil get the shaft too, in the end it doesnt matter how popular the franchise is but if it is good and if it sells.

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