Borderlands animated short film to be developed by Academy of Art

Borderlands is being turned into a cartoon. But, in quite an unusual way.

Gearbox has announced a new partnership with the Academy of Art University that will have students working together to create an original animated short film set in the Borderlands universe. The "Borderlands Cooperative" will have students from multiple disciplines work together to make the film a reality--before its end-of-year deadline.

The project will provide "valuable experience and networking opportunities," according to 2K Games. Some students will also be able to get an internship at 2K through this program.

"We are thrilled that our Borderlands universe has inspired so much creativity," Gearbox president Randy Pitchford said in a press release. "We are happy to offer the Academy of Art University access to our digital assets so that its students' creativity can be harnessed into positive career development efforts and, if we're lucky, the creation of some great content that every Borderlands fan can enjoy.

While some may see this as an exploitation of unpaid labor, the Academy of Art disagrees. "These students are aspiring game designers, programmers, writers and animators who will now graduate with hands-on experience and a product of work they can share with prospective employers, making them well-positioned to compete for and win the jobs of today's global economy," Chris Armstrong, Director of School of Animation & VFX at the academy said.