2K to publish Gearbox Software’s Borderlands, or, ‘It’s not about Mexico’

When Diablo came out, I remember being fascinated by its randomly generated dungeons. “Surely,” I said, unwisely, “I’ll eventually run across a map I’ve seen before.” Oh, how gloriously, wonderfully wrong I was!

Over a decade later, the fine folks at Gearbox Software decided that maybe Blizzard had been onto something back in 1996, and that “thousands of unique, randomly generated missions, weapons and situations” would be pretty rad.

And thus*, Borderlands was born. And no, there’s no wall building involved.

Borderlands is being published by 2K Games, who seem to be riding the sci-fi FPS gravy train until its last stop (whenever that may be), and hopes to distinguish itself from the growing number of ambitious sci-fi FPS’s in 2008 via its ability to generate new content: 

Borderlands features a groundbreaking content generation system allowing for near-endless variety in missions, environments, enemies, weapons, item drops and character customization.

Reading the press release, this game almost sounds like an MMOFPS with an emphasis on new content and co-op. Apparently, “players can freely join or leave each other’s games at anytime, or choose to play in the full single-player mode,” which seems to suggest the ability to create the equivalent of guilds, or at least parties, with your fellow players. I have vague rumblings about squad-based co-op play, or something similar. Maybe like Jericho but more wholesome?

This is, of course, wild speculation since the game’s only been announced today. The verdict is still out until we find out more about it, or, better yet, have it in our hands. In any case, Borderlands is the first in a sci-fi franchise, so its clear that Gearbox and 2K have high hopes for it. It should come out God knows when for the PS3, Xbox360, and Games for Windows.

Press release follows, and some screenshots, sent in by TheGoldenDonut, here

[Editor’s note: I don’t really know how, precisely, Borderlands was born, but I like to think that the Gearbox guys have good taste, so I know they’ve played Diablo.]

2K Games to Publish Gearbox Software’s BorderlandsTM for Next Gen Consoles and Games for Windows(r)

New sci-fi shooter from award-winning developer Gearbox Software blends
first-person action with character progression and hundreds of thousands
of weapons for an unmatched cooperative gaming experience

New York, NY – August 16, 2007 – 2K Games, a publishing label of
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that
it will publish Borderlands(tm), the latest release from acclaimed
developer Gearbox Software, for the Xbox 360(tm) video game and
entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION(r)3 computer
entertainment system and Games for Windows(r). As the first title in an
all-new sci-fi action franchise, Borderlands combines the best elements
of Gearbox Software’s famed first-person action titles with player
customization and vehicular combat to create an unprecedented gaming

Gearbox Software has developed revolutionary new technology to create
Borderlands’ incredible layers of gameplay depth.  Borderlands features
a groundbreaking content generation system allowing for near-endless
variety in missions, environments, enemies, weapons, item drops and
character customization.

“Borderlands represents an important evolutionary leap in game design
and technology,” said Christoph Hartmann, President of 2K. “By utilizing
revolutionary new technology to create thousands of unique, randomly
generated missions, weapons and situations, Borderlands will raise the
bar for next gen action games.”

Borderlands is an extraordinary cooperative experience, allowing for
multiple players to share the same game experience simultaneously
online. Players can freely join or leave each other’s games at anytime,
or choose to play in the full single-player mode. Borderlands features
life-like character animations, impressive real-time physics, and
customizable vehicles.

“Borderlands creates a universe of gameplay that goes far beyond
anything anyone would expect. We’re tapping into every bit of Gearbox
Software’s experience with the biggest science fiction video game
franchises, then taking everything way past the next level,” said Randy
Pitchford, President of Gearbox Software. “The team at 2K Games shares
our passion for pushing boundaries in gameplay and storytelling and are
absolutely perfect partners for Borderlands.”

Borderlands will be available holiday 2008 for PLAYSTATION 3 system,
Xbox 360 and Games for Windows(r). For more information, see the
Borderlands cover story in the September issue of Game Informer

About Gearbox Software

Gearbox Software, an independent video game development studio located
in Dallas, TX, is respected industry-wide for their ability to create
award winning, blockbuster interactive entertainment. The company has
established itself as an industry leader, developing games for many of
the industry’s top franchises including Half-Life: Opposing Force,
Half-Life: Blueshift, Half-Life PlayStation(r)2, Halo: Combat Evolved,
Aliens and Tony Hawk. Gearbox Software’s first original brand, Brothers
in Arms, was launched in 2005 and has become one of the highest rated
and best selling franchises in the genre.  The company is currently
developing multiple original titles for next generation video game
consoles and Windows Vista(tm). Additional information regarding Gearbox
Software can be found at www.gearboxsoftware.com.

About Take-Two Interactive Software

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a
global developer, marketer, distributor and publisher of interactive
entertainment software games for the PC, PlayStation(r) game console,
PlayStation(r)2 and PLAYSTATION(r)3 computer entertainment systems,
PSP(r) (PlayStation(r)Portable) system, Xbox(r) and Xbox 360(tm) video
game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, Wii(tm), Nintendo
GameCube(tm), Nintendo DS(tm) and Game Boy(r) Advance. The Company
publishes and develops products through its wholly owned labels Rockstar
Games, 2K Games and 2K Sports, and Global Star Software; and distributes
software, hardware and accessories in North America through its Jack of
All Games subsidiary. Take-Two’s common stock is publicly traded on
NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information
please visit our website at www.take2games.com.

Joseph Leray