Borderlands Creator Leaves Gearbox

Borderlands Creator Leaves Gearbox

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Borderlands creator and franchise director Matt Armstrong has announced his departure from Gearbox Software.

These days, Gearbox Software is pretty much synonymous with the Borderlands series, and after the spectacular failures of Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines, I'm sure they would like to keep it that way. So, it does make us worry a bit that in the same month that 2K Australia - Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's developer - was closed down, the franchise creator himself has announced his departure from the company.

"Things changed. No longer working at Gearbox Software. I will always love Gearbox, but it's adventure time," Tweeted Matt Armstrong, the man behind the series. Armstrong is credited with developing the concept for the first Borderlands title and its universe, as well as acting as lead designer for the game.

Armstrong also commented on the closure of 2K Australia, stating "The 2K Australia guys were amazing to work with, and there's not one of them I wouldn't work with again. Good luck, my friends."

Is Gearbox ready to distance itself from the Franchise? Last we heard, Borderlands 3 is planned, and Gearbox bigwig Randy Pitchford claims it will be "the big one," but development hasn't actually started yet.

Source: Eurogamer

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Honestly, I can't blame the guy for leaving. Gearbox is a shell of its former self. From their abandonment of Brothers in Arms to their handling of Aliens: Colonial Marines to their stance on..."that" controversy, I've found they've pretty much burnt through my goodwill.

It's a real shame. I used to love their titles.

Kudos for the diclosure statement, by the way.

They focused so much on borderlands... that the quality of all their other games has seriously detoriated. Their last lucky quality product in my book was the Xcom tactical game where they managed to modernize the formula of turn based squad combat surprisingly well... meanwhile the FPS xcom title was a disaster that wasnt worth retail price.

Thing is: You can only release the same game so often before people get bored with it, you cant release borderlands for the 3rd time with minimal new features added and expect thunder to strike the same place three times in such a short time. The reason the game concept of diablo worked out so well was because there where large gaps between each title released. Imagine Blizzard releasing a new diablo every 2 to 3 years... no one would care about diablo anymore at that point.

Then theres the issue of people gotten really suspicious about their practices and ethics... or lack thereof... what with aliens colonial marines and that fake "vertical slice" demo they showed... that was of a better quality and had more originality and live to it then the effing finished game.

They are going the same way that THQ went... blinded by their own arrogance they are running at high speed towards the next brick wall... and it seems they have forgotten how to stop.

Karadalis:
They focused so much on borderlands... that the quality of all their other games has seriously detoriated. Their last lucky quality product in my book was the Xcom tactical game where they managed to modernize the formula of turn based squad combat surprisingly well... meanwhile the FPS xcom title was a disaster that wasnt worth retail price.

Ummm... what? "The Xcom tactical game" I'm assuming is XCOM:Enemy Unknown, and that was done by Firaxis with no involvement by Gearbox. The "FPS xcom title" would be The Bureau:XCOM Declassified, which also has no connection to Gearbox, and was made by 2K's various studios. As far as I know, Gearbox never went anywhere near the franchise...

A decent game that devolved into Memes and cringe worthy "Humor" that was more the former than the latter(Seriously i wish there was a mod to completely remove Claptrap from Borderlands 2). Heres hoping BL3 just becomes Vaporware and unlike DNF, never actually gets released, nothing but madness will come of it.

Heres hoping the guy finds something to occupy himself with, the first Borderlands was actually quite good after all.

Adultratedhydra:
A decent game that devolved into Memes and cringe worthy "Humor" that was more the former than the latter(Seriously i wish there was a mod to completely remove Claptrap from Borderlands 2). Heres hoping BL3 just becomes Vaporware and unlike DNF, never actually gets released, nothing but madness will come of it.

Heres hoping the guy finds something to occupy himself with, the first Borderlands was actually quite good after all.

It's going to take a lot of mechanical overhaul for me to want to play Borderlands 3, but I think the second game actually addressed a lot of the complaints of the first, at least visually. Either way I'd take that Claptrap mod in a heartbeat if it existed.

OT: Can this guy just move to Australia and form a studio with the former 2K guys there? I think they could make some cool stuff.

shirkbot:

It's going to take a lot of mechanical overhaul for me to want to play Borderlands 3, but I think the second game actually addressed a lot of the complaints of the first, at least visually. Either way I'd take that Claptrap mod in a heartbeat if it existed.

OT: Can this guy just move to Australia and form a studio with the former 2K guys there? I think they could make some cool stuff.

I liked the vast Majority of BL 2 but i never understood the devotion people had for claptrap. The Claptrap DLC in 1 was by far the most low effort schlock they ever shat out and then his prominence in 2 made the game feel like a chore. He isnt witty and good lord he isnt funny. It's what sealed my decision not to buy the Pre-sequel. "Whats that? Claptrap is a main character? I think I'll just donate the money i could spend on that game to Dwarf Fortress' development then."

Fake edit: Why did the Captcha of "Horse racing is to horses as rugby is to" not accept my answer of "Ryan's hot sauce"?!

Adultratedhydra:

I liked the vast Majority of BL 2 but i never understood the devotion people had for claptrap. The Claptrap DLC in 1 was by far the most low effort schlock they ever shat out and then his prominence in 2 made the game feel like a chore. He isnt witty and good lord he isnt funny. It's what sealed my decision not to buy the Pre-sequel. "Whats that? Claptrap is a main character? I think I'll just donate the money i could spend on that game to Dwarf Fortress' development then."

Heh. Some high profile videogames award show hosted by Samuel L Jackson(of all people) a couple of years ago had actually "nominated" that claptwat for best game character. Can't for the lfe of me remember who won. but I definately got the impression they were pulling a Johnny Gat on us; where they seem to be constantly pushing the idea that there is this totally reaaally coool character, man, that we should all love and laugh with cos they made him soooo coool.
And they just keep pushing that till we all cave in because we are nought but simple puppies that can be trained to like whatever we're told. Fake it till you make it, right?

Not a huge surprise. Matt Armstrong's a smart guy and he probably realizes that - if he stays with Gearbox - he'll be cranking our Borderlands sequels until he retires. Hopefully, he'll go somewhere where he can develop a new IP.

If any editors are reading this, can the article please get tagged "Matt Armstrong"? That's probably more useful than "RPG" or "video games".

The pre-sequel was so blah it soured me on the franchise even though I have hundreds of hours in b2.

What they really needed to do was give the game to whoever made Dragon Keep since that DLC was better than the vanilla game.

And to you claptrap haters he is the BEST part of the pre sequel. Clappy was only character with actually funny dialog and interesting abilities. The other guys were more generic than Zer0 and Axton.

Its sad that B2 will be made by people who had nothing to do with the first 2 but it will be made, the name has too much money in it.

Great, the Borderland franchise will be grinded to dust now if not already.

rembrandtqeinstein:
And to you claptrap haters he is the BEST part of the pre sequel.

Wow. That game must have been friggin' terrible then. Until Tina and Torgue came along, he was the most grating character. Glad I stopped mid-way through 2.

At this point Borderlands has it's own momentum and should last without him. Good that he'll be able to go to another studio to imagine something else, I hope.

You'd think people would remember Gearbox's involvement in the Halflife franchise more readily considering its legendary status.

Can't really blame them for the debacle that was Duke Nukem. Can totally blame them for colonial marines.

Scarim Coral:
Great, the Borderland franchise will be grinded to dust now if not already.

Ok, so someone makes some entertainment that you don't like or have become bored with. What is that to you? Why do you care if other people are enjoying a thing you don't? At least their games have their own world and distinct feel to them unlike all the other FPS cloned garbage out there.

Borderlands 2 made 90 metacritic across most platforms and even won game of the year in some cases while being nominated in many others. It has also sold over 6 million copies.

So if that's the kind of game you don't like, then tough. It's clearly a winner and will remain so unless the performance of the Pre-Sequel continues. But even then it was a solid B-quality game (B as in a grade) and has sold over a million copies. Still, a clear step backwards for the franchise. So if that continues then yeah, the franchise will just die away. But if Borderlands 3 ends up being the same iteration that Borderlands 2 was to 1, then it will be great.

shirkbot:

It's going to take a lot of mechanical overhaul for me to want to play Borderlands 3, but I think the second game actually addressed a lot of the complaints of the first, at least visually. Either way I'd take that Claptrap mod in a heartbeat if it existed.

OT: Can this guy just move to Australia and form a studio with the former 2K guys there? I think they could make some cool stuff.

I personally though BL2 added QoL features that fixed complaints, but removed more features that made Borderlands 1 good.
Either way, I agree that Borderlands 3 needs something huge to bring me back, and no, 20 more skin DLCs wont do that.

I remember seeing a news article way long ago, around when Borderlands 2 was first announced, about how it was going to implement weapon crafting using guns you didn't want, with the example being used of a sniper + rocket launcher to make a...well, Sniper Rocket Launcher...but now I can't seem to find that article again.

Kinda makes me wonder what would people like to see (mechanically) for a Borderlands 3...

Spaceman Spiff:

rembrandtqeinstein:
And to you claptrap haters he is the BEST part of the pre sequel.

Wow. That game must have been friggin' terrible then. Until Tina and Torgue came along, he was the most grating character. Glad I stopped mid-way through 2.

Hey now Torgue was atleast slightly entertaining. Tina however is just a symptom of borderlands problem as a whole. A problem that came to a head in Memelands the meme-sequel.

I don't get what all the hate for The pre-sequal is about, it is better in pretty much every aspect except for endgame. The classes where variet, their action abilities could be continously used in combat which helped giving each of them a distinct playstyle. Also skills are more interesting then just mostly flat stat bonuses.Also characters were more desgined to have skills that work well for multipal players (especially claptrap). Enemies are no longer massive bullet sponges. Despite being set on a moon they were able to varie up the setting and enemies in more way than borderlands 2 did (which was flat area with loader, flat area with bandit (or equivalent) and flat area with beast for about 90% of the game, probably one fo the reasons tiny tinas dlc was good) though air boosts helpped a lot with that. The raid boss isn't just a gaint bullet sponge with a nearly impossible to adoid attack that can kill you in 2 hits unless you have a helaing heavy build, instead it has distinct attack that deal damage according to how easy it is to dodge (the easier the higher the damage) as well as having reasonable ways to both win fight for you life and trigger, allowing you to use all aspect of your skill trees for the fight. They finally made good laser guns in a shooter with a sci fi setting. I will say though, the lack of endgame and farmable legendaries (which was mostly sorted in an update and the claptrap DLC (which with exception of enemy variety is on the same level as the tiny tina DLC)) was a pretty big mistake but the pre-sequal was far from a step back because of it.

Did that rumor that Gearbox funneled Colonial Marine's budget into Borderlands 2 ever turn out to be true?

Adultratedhydra:

Spaceman Spiff:

Wow. That game must have been friggin' terrible then. Until Tina and Torgue came along, he was the most grating character. Glad I stopped mid-way through 2.

Hey now Torgue was atleast slightly entertaining. Tina however is just a symptom of borderlands problem as a whole. A problem that came to a head in Memelands the meme-sequel.

I found both of them to be pretty entertaining, or rather, the other characters are far more annoying. I feel they fit the borderland theme of mad/crazy/psycho more then say...Zer0

It probably helped that the Dragon Keep DLC made them the most entertaining (mostly for Tina Tina though). Its what makes it the best DLC

Between his comment about leaving and his comment about 2K Australia closing, it makes it sound like he left with the intention of starting a new studio with the former 2K Australia employees.

I actually want this to be really really true.

InfinityX:
I personally though BL2 added QoL features that fixed complaints, but removed more features that made Borderlands 1 good.
Either way, I agree that Borderlands 3 needs something huge to bring me back, and no, 20 more skin DLCs wont do that.

I remember seeing a news article way long ago, around when Borderlands 2 was first announced, about how it was going to implement weapon crafting using guns you didn't want, with the example being used of a sniper + rocket launcher to make a...well, Sniper Rocket Launcher...but now I can't seem to find that article again.

Kinda makes me wonder what would people like to see (mechanically) for a Borderlands 3...

Reducing the bulletsponginess of enemies would help a lot, at least for me. It just makes the game really slow. It'd like some kind of weapon crafting system, but before that secondary fire and just a greater variety. Like having grenade launchers as a totally independent weapon type and the addition of things like crossbows and/or harpoon guns. If there were a crafting system I'd be content with a part per gun, since they already have the part generation system, so they'd just need a recombinator. Heck they could just make a straight-up recombinator where you can chuck guns in and see what you get to reduce vendor trash and I'd be happy... Maybe we could/should take ideas and send them to Gearbox?

... Sorry for rambling...

EDIT: And mod support.

After Hellquest left, 2K Aus closing their doors and now Armstrong leaving aswell I'm extremely worried about future BL titles.

Not that I have much faith left in GBX anyway.

shirkbot:
If there were a crafting system I'd be content with a part per gun, since they already have the part generation system, so they'd just need a recombinator. Heck they could just make a straight-up recombinator where you can chuck guns in and see what you get to reduce vendor trash and I'd be happy... Maybe we could/should take ideas and send them to Gearbox?

... Sorry for rambling...

EDIT: And mod support.

Umm... isn't that what the Grinder in BLPS does? Or am I misunderstanding?

step1999:

shirkbot:
If there were a crafting system I'd be content with a part per gun, since they already have the part generation system, so they'd just need a recombinator. Heck they could just make a straight-up recombinator where you can chuck guns in and see what you get to reduce vendor trash and I'd be happy... Maybe we could/should take ideas and send them to Gearbox?

... Sorry for rambling...

EDIT: And mod support.

Umm... isn't that what the Grinder in BLPS does? Or am I misunderstanding?

I actually don't know first-hand, but the wiki indicates it's similar to what I'd like to see. It's between the extremes I'd like (IE grinder produces parts for players to combine, or "x" random guns in = 1 random gun out), and it still doesn't deal with my other gripes. That said, it's at least a step in the right direction.

shirkbot:

step1999:

shirkbot:
If there were a crafting system I'd be content with a part per gun, since they already have the part generation system, so they'd just need a recombinator. Heck they could just make a straight-up recombinator where you can chuck guns in and see what you get to reduce vendor trash and I'd be happy... Maybe we could/should take ideas and send them to Gearbox?

... Sorry for rambling...

EDIT: And mod support.

Umm... isn't that what the Grinder in BLPS does? Or am I misunderstanding?

I actually don't know first-hand, but the wiki indicates it's similar to what I'd like to see. It's between the extremes I'd like (IE grinder produces parts for players to combine, or a random guns in = 1 random gun out), and it still doesn't deal with my other gripes. That said, it's at least a step in the right direction.

Doubt a complete crafting system will ever happen. Wouldn't like it anyway, and multiple threads on the official forums always ended up with the answer that it probably owuldn't happen.

Personal oppinion aside.

What the use of farming -one of the cornerstones in such a game, and end-game for that matter- when you can just tool your own guns together?

rembrandtqeinstein:

And to you claptrap haters he is the BEST part of the pre sequel. Clappy was only character with actually funny dialog and interesting abilities. The other guys were more generic than Zer0 and Axton.

Hey now, ser, them's fightin' words. He may be generic but he's MY generic player class. Put 'em up.

Also, spoken like someone who hasn't played as the Doppelganger, who -ahem- ACTUALLY has the best dialogue since it's Dameon Clarke and you can't go wrong with Dameon Clarke. -shot- Nah, but CL4P-TP as a playable character isn't as bad as I thought it would be. He's less annoying, somehow.

OT: Eh, you win some, you lose some. I hope he finds success wherever he's going.

nuba km:
I don't get what all the hate for The pre-sequal is about, it is better in pretty much every aspect except for endgame. The classes where variet, their action abilities could be continously used in combat which helped giving each of them a distinct playstyle. Also skills are more interesting then just mostly flat stat bonuses.Also characters were more desgined to have skills that work well for multipal players (especially claptrap). Enemies are no longer massive bullet sponges. Despite being set on a moon they were able to varie up the setting and enemies in more way than borderlands 2 did (which was flat area with loader, flat area with bandit (or equivalent) and flat area with beast for about 90% of the game, probably one fo the reasons tiny tinas dlc was good) though air boosts helpped a lot with that. The raid boss isn't just a gaint bullet sponge with a nearly impossible to adoid attack that can kill you in 2 hits unless you have a helaing heavy build, instead it has distinct attack that deal damage according to how easy it is to dodge (the easier the higher the damage) as well as having reasonable ways to both win fight for you life and trigger, allowing you to use all aspect of your skill trees for the fight. They finally made good laser guns in a shooter with a sci fi setting. I will say though, the lack of endgame and farmable legendaries (which was mostly sorted in an update and the claptrap DLC (which with exception of enemy variety is on the same level as the tiny tina DLC)) was a pretty big mistake but the pre-sequal was far from a step back because of it.

It wasn't that different than the previous games and had some significant bugs/issues in addition to poor pacing.

Had it not been the predecessor of Borderlands 1 and 2 then it likely would have scored in the 80's.

Hrrrm... now that I think about it, Borderlands was the only big AAA game I've been regularly keeping track of over the last decade or so and even it got kinda repetitive. Yeeesh, I guess I should be sad but 3 fun/emotionally engaging/kinda grindy games was a good run I guess, unless they give the loot mechanics a severe over haul I probably won't be that interested in the third installment.

0takuMetalhead:

shirkbot:

step1999:

Umm... isn't that what the Grinder in BLPS does? Or am I misunderstanding?

I actually don't know first-hand, but the wiki indicates it's similar to what I'd like to see. It's between the extremes I'd like (IE grinder produces parts for players to combine, or a random guns in = 1 random gun out), and it still doesn't deal with my other gripes. That said, it's at least a step in the right direction.

Doubt a complete crafting system will ever happen. Wouldn't like it anyway, and multiple threads on the official forums always ended up with the answer that it probably owuldn't happen.

Personal oppinion aside.

What the use of farming -one of the cornerstones in such a game, and end-game for that matter- when you can just tool your own guns together?

I didn't see any of the official threads...so I didn't know that. Do you remember what was the consensus why it wouldn't work?

As for the grinder, I thought it was only shields that could be put in for a random shield back?

With the farming part...that actually is a negative for me, since I found the farming pretty bad (I think one time I killed that radio DJ guy for the legendary AMP shield ~50+ times before it got nerfed) as well as really nothing to spend money on after selling all my junk weapons. I think a crafting system (as well as a more robust gun variety) could allow you to make all sorts of crazy weapons, plus you would still need to farm the items you want. (want to make a legendary, need to farm 3 of them, ect..)

I guess with online multiplayer that could be a issue with balance if you don't want someone that found a OP gun...but then again it could also allow singleplayer to solo those annoying raid bosses.

Scarim Coral:
Great, the Borderland franchise will be grinded to dust now if not already.

The borderlands creator leaves gearbox and now you're saying this? Not too sure whether you're being melodramatic or too late for the obvious.

Aliens: Colonial Marines was a bit like watching someone with a tray full of glasses, plates, and silverware trip and fall. But Duke Nukem Forever was like watching that same person trip, have an enormous and cacophonous fall, and then get up and claim that nothing had happened. "Duke is a terrific game...! And we're seriously considering blacklisting anyone who suggests it wasn't...! And we'd like you to fill out a survey to explain to us how DNF was awesome and contained everything you like, but you hated it anyway because you're stupid...!"

With "Pre-Sequel" underwhelming many and the subsidiary that created it closing, Borderlands 3 needs to be more than Borderlands with a coat of next-gen chrome. It needs to be a reassurance that Gearbox still knows what it's doing. I honestly don't know how much Armstrong had to do with the successful iterations of the series, but I doubt his departure bodes well.

 

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