I’m generally able to follow along with Gearbox president Randy Pitchford’s manic energy, but two tweets he made this morning have thrown me for a loop. He’s not really announcing Borderlands 4, is he?
It all started with a rumor. Two days ago, UK outlet Gamereactor reported that more Borderlands is on the way, specifically a spin-off that would offer “something different” than a numbered entry. Naturally, this information found its way to Reddit, where an excited audience discussed what they’d like to see from a hypothetical follow-up to 2019’s Borderlands 3.
Why Pitchford would feel the need to address a vague rumor is unclear, but that’s exactly what he did on Twitter earlier today, writing:
“I am told of rumors that Gearbox is ‘assisting’ or ‘co-developing’ another Borderlands game (or a new spin-off game). These rumors are not accurate. Gearbox is lead dev of any future games in the Borderlands franchise (or any Borderlands adjacent games) with no co-development.”
Okay, sure, Pitchford wants to get out ahead of any misinformation, perhaps due to Gearbox having a new parent company. But he didn’t stop there, quoting his initial statement and adding:
“More: We are definitely working on some amazing stuff that, I hope, will surprise and delight you. Plug: if anyone out there has Skills-To-Pay-Bills and wants to get in on some Borderlands action, we’re working on the big one.”
This isn’t the first time Pitchford has used the phrase “the big one” to describe a game. Back in 2015, he also referred to the project that eventually became Borderlands 3 as “the big one” during a similar recruitment call.
Listen. It’s safe to assume that there’s always going to be a new Borderlands game in development. The zany looter shooter franchise is Gearbox’s most prized possession and quite literally keeps the lights on over there. They’re making a Borderlands movie with folks like Cate Blanchett and Jamie Lee Curtis, for crying out loud. Why wouldn’t they capitalize on that?
What I can’t wrap my brain around is Pitchford’s attempt to discredit the idea that Gearbox is a co-developer when, from what I can tell, that information was never part of the original rumor. Then, in the same breath, he seemingly announces a new Borderlands game out of nowhere. Misdirection is a key component of stage magic, so perhaps this is just the erstwhile magician’s way of keeping our attention on something else while Gearbox does something more exciting with its other hand.
In any case all you’ve done is confuse me, Randy. Why are you like this.