90% of Gearbox Is Working on the Unannounced Borderlands 3

Almost all hands are on deck polishing up Claptrap.

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When it arrived on PC and consoles back in the fall of 2012, Borderlands 2 fixed up most of the faults of its predecessor and provided the definitive version of the loot shooter. The game was met with critical and commercial success and spawned an ocean of DLC and add-on content. In the 5 years since the release, things have gotten a bit shaky for the folks over at Gearbox Software. While they took over for 3D Realms and actually managed to ship Duke Nukem Forever, the studio received a wave of bad press surrounding the launch of Aliens: Colonial Marines and the 2016 MOBA-shooter Battleborn’s hobby-grade launch was crushed under the weight of Blizzard’s Overwatch.

Gearbox fans have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of Borderlands 3 for years, but the studio remains mostly tight-lipped about the shooter franchise. Back in March of this year, Gearbox Godfather Randy Pitchford teased a look at the technology that would be driving the next Borderlands title during a demonstration at GDC. This past weekend at PAX West, Pitchford revealed that 90 percent of the studio was “working on the thing I think most of you guys want us to be working on.” Borderlands was not mentioned by name, but it is pretty easy to read between the lines.

The loot shooter landscape has changed drastically since Borderlands 2 arrived 5 years ago. Destiny, Destiny 2, and The Division have released in that time frame and have evolved and improved the genre. BioWare’s recently announced Anthem looks to add another AAA game into the loot shooter arena in the next 18 months as well. Even looking beyond fan expectations for a Borderlands 3, Gearbox has its work cut out for them.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    September 6, 2017 10:45 AM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, 90% of Gearbox Is Working on the Unannounced Borderlands 3

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      September 6, 2017 11:09 AM

      Yes plsz. In my butt

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        September 6, 2017 11:54 AM

        shirif whats the favorite game you like in your butt

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        September 6, 2017 12:03 PM

        I'm sure their plan is to bend you over with their microtransaction plan.

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      September 6, 2017 11:17 AM

      is sega unknowingly funding this one, too?

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      September 6, 2017 11:45 AM

      After their last few stinkers, nobody should be excited for a gearbox game

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        September 6, 2017 11:53 AM

        Borderlands is the exception - BL2 was one of the best games I've ever played.

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          September 6, 2017 11:56 AM

          Yup. As someone who doesn't really have any interest in Gearbox titles outside of BL, I have zero issues with them (as long as they give me more Borderlands lol).

        • rms
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          September 6, 2017 1:55 PM

          Borderlands 1 >> Borderlands 2. Just FYI.

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            September 6, 2017 3:04 PM

            ^^ EOT

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            September 6, 2017 3:24 PM

            Wrong. BL2 is better. And had some of the best DLC of any game - ever.

            • rms
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              September 6, 2017 3:58 PM

              Oh god. BL1 actually had an interesting and motivating quest for a plot: Why else would you go to a horrible desert planet but to hunt for epic treasure, like Indiana Jones; BL2 had drivel for a 'plot', juvenile humor and the lamest villain ever; BL1 had actually interesting places to visit, with their own lore and cool factions; while BL2 had an RNG spewing out literally billions and billions of lame-ass nonsensical weapons, sniper rifles with a drunken waver that only fire in burst with the scope is used, slag.

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              September 6, 2017 5:28 PM

              this is not correct

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              September 6, 2017 6:29 PM

              BL2 was made better and has better features and art...Something was off about it though. I wish I could figure out what exactly.
              And yeah all but a couple of the DLC were solid, and a couple were extra fun.

              Too bullet spongey in the higher diffs, maybe. But there were also abilities that made it easier to kill fast so.. I dunno.

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            September 7, 2017 12:42 AM

            How does it feel to be absolutely wrong?

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          September 6, 2017 6:48 PM

          I enjoyed BL2 when I first played it but in hindsight I don't really like it. The gunplay was pretty crap and there's something about the characters and writing that doesn't appeal to me.

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          September 6, 2017 10:49 PM

          Eh, I always thought that Borderlands was grinding for the sake of grinding. The gun play and power mechanics were all garbage and it's only saving grace was having robust coop and a lot of loot.

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        September 6, 2017 12:09 PM

        Co-op borderlands 2 with buds was one of the best co-op times

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        September 6, 2017 12:24 PM

        On the contrary! Gearbox is finally going back to the only thing they've done right. I'm very excited!

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        September 6, 2017 12:47 PM

        Gearbox and Ubisoft are on my shit list. Which is a shame because I used to love the Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell games.

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          September 6, 2017 2:38 PM

          The most recent Splinter Cell Blacklist and R6 Siege are awesome.

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            September 6, 2017 4:03 PM

            I heard Siege was good. I had trouble getting into Blacklist.

            Just feeling burned by The Division and disappointed with Ghost Recon. And their rinse and repeat game mechanics.

        • Zek
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          September 6, 2017 3:09 PM

          No need to keep a shit list, just read reviews before you buy the games.

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        September 7, 2017 12:41 AM

        Oh shut up.

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      September 6, 2017 11:47 AM

      "working on the thing I think most of you guys want us to be working on." is obviously a reference to another Brothers in Arms game. Duh.

      • reply
        September 6, 2017 12:12 PM

        I was kinda bummed the Inglorious Basterds knock-off got cancelled.

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          September 6, 2017 12:27 PM

          That looked kinda neat, but I wasn't a fan of them using the BiA name for it

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            September 6, 2017 1:01 PM

            I kept saying they should rename it “Basterds in Arms”

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        September 6, 2017 12:26 PM

        It could also be a Colonial Marine remake

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          September 6, 2017 12:27 PM

          Or a card game using borderlands characters!

        • rms
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          September 6, 2017 4:04 PM

          I would fing preorder another Aliens single-player FPS.

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        September 7, 2017 1:12 AM

        OH SHIT HALF-LIFE: OPPOSING FORCES 2 CONFIRMED!

      • reply
        September 7, 2017 2:46 AM

        Gearbox's Montreal studio is working on a self-published BiA game.

    • Zek
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      September 6, 2017 12:21 PM

      I'd like if it were more of an MMO format. Never cared about the plot one bit.

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      September 6, 2017 12:22 PM

      I am soooooooooooo over the borderlands tone and aesthetic.

      :-/

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      September 6, 2017 12:24 PM

      Am I the only person who hopes this is a new Duke Nukem rather than Borderlands 3?

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        September 6, 2017 12:25 PM

        Probably! Duke Nukem is all but dead.

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          September 6, 2017 12:29 PM

          It's still an IP with some value, witness the Bulletstorm Duke DLC and his upcoming appearance in Ready Player One.

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            September 6, 2017 12:41 PM

            Ready Player One is about retro nostalgia. Duke's a relic now, and Gearbox isn't the studio to reinvent him.

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        September 6, 2017 12:31 PM

        ...Yes.

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        September 6, 2017 12:39 PM

        I would love a new Duke Nukem game, be it good or bad. I just want more FPS Duke.

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          September 6, 2017 12:55 PM

          Same.

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          September 6, 2017 12:58 PM

          More of Duke Nukem Forever or more quality Duke?

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            September 6, 2017 1:02 PM

            Did you not find ANY of that game fun? I had a absolute blast

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              September 6, 2017 6:50 PM

              I thought it was fun until the swimming and drowning every 5 seconds part. Quit and uninstalled right there. I had hope...

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            September 6, 2017 1:09 PM

            That's a weird question, but I've played a lot worse games then DNF. Having a single studio start a new Duke game completely fresh would hopefully generate better results.

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            September 6, 2017 1:10 PM

            It'll be a remake of Borderlands 1 with Duke Nukem as a playable class

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          September 6, 2017 1:32 PM

          I'm not sure if I do, honestly. It really depends on how they handle him.

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            September 6, 2017 1:49 PM

            I personally don't have any interest in Duke's signature crude, ultramacho shtick played without irony.

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          September 6, 2017 1:51 PM

          Let Croteam make a new Duke Nukem, they would do it justice.

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          September 7, 2017 12:26 AM

          They should license it to someone else like id software or MachineGames

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            September 7, 2017 3:58 AM

            A machinegames Duke Nukem would be a day 1 buy for me.

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        September 6, 2017 12:49 PM

        even dognose doesn't want that

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        September 6, 2017 1:46 PM

        No, because the Borderlands franchise is fucking crap. Seriously, it's crap.

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          September 6, 2017 1:57 PM

          People really love it. I really liked the concept (Diablo+Coop FPS) but not so much the execution. There's so much stuff in there I cannot stand at all. Still certain things I think are well done. Like the visual design of the areas and the general space western atmosphere, hidden behind all the obnoxious noise and nonsense a lot of the time - but in the quiet moments it bleeds through and just gives me good vibes. I wouldn't say the franchise is crap all over but..

          ..I don't expect them to resolve any of my issues from 1 & 2 in 3, and they're probably going to double down on the annoying characters and story, but it will still probably be a decent game if you really liked the first two and all those dlcs and the pre-sequel and yet still want more.



          I know we probably all dislike Gearbox for one reason or another these days, but at the time I appreciated that someone over there listened to feedback from the first game and did useful stuff for the PC version like adding real fov controls. They were one of the first bigger devs talking publicly that their console focused game wasn't just going to be another shit port. However, they somehow made the interface and inventory even worse in #2, hah.

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            September 6, 2017 2:29 PM

            i didnt play bl2 much. i was pre-burnt out on it. none of the atmosphere lands for me, too obnoxious

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              September 6, 2017 2:40 PM

              Like I said, it's really only in the quiet moments when that stuff comes through. And those are very rare. But the games do have some real nice ambience hidden down below. And when you get one of those low key background tracks and maybe a nice lighting change from noon to dusk without the rampant audio obnoxiousness layered on top, it can take me to a happy place for a moment.

              Credit to the soundtrack I guess.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4sAhUqR2b4&list=PLImz4inew6Xuj1fV8rW2Ov0Ddp58iPR-h&index=7

          • reply
            September 6, 2017 2:57 PM

            The insane complexity of all the weapons, upgrades and characters makes it so much fun for multiple playthroughs. The weapons are really fun once they get bigger as are the extra add-ons and whatnot, and each character really lets you play totally differently also. Plus the open world setting and awesome characters makes it the only game of it's type that I've played over and over. It just never gets old until all the DLC is finished and all the weapons are collected basically.

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          September 6, 2017 3:27 PM

          Sorry man, but you are wrong. BL2 was a total blast. Loved every minute of it. Co-op fps has never been better.

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            September 6, 2017 3:43 PM

            Oh it's totally an opinion of course, but it's the right opinion!

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              September 6, 2017 4:14 PM

              Yes, I have the right option here. You got that right ;)

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          September 7, 2017 12:46 AM

          YOUR FACE is crap.

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        September 6, 2017 3:14 PM

        Fuck that shit. They should have stopped with Duke Nukem 3D. Duke isn't interesting or compelling at all as a character anymore.

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        September 6, 2017 3:44 PM

        Maybe it's a Duke-Borderlands crossover.

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        September 6, 2017 6:30 PM

        Nah not after the little flurry of 1980s kitch weve had recently. I'm more over the 1980s bullshit than I ever was.

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          September 6, 2017 6:44 PM

          What does Duke have to do with the 1980s? The breakout game was in 1996

          • reply
            September 6, 2017 10:05 PM

            Duke is a parody of 1980s action film characters.

    • reply
      September 6, 2017 12:46 PM

      Make money money money!!

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      September 6, 2017 12:49 PM

      N0 thanks.

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      September 6, 2017 1:51 PM

      gearbox should just allocate that money to telltale for more tales from the borderlands

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        September 6, 2017 10:27 PM

        Agreed. I want to know what love is what happens.

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      September 6, 2017 1:52 PM

      They had to let the series rest for a few years so the internet could cultivate new memes for Gearbox to use as writing material.

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        September 6, 2017 1:58 PM

        Nope, they've already modeled every character dabbing, they need to release BL3 in ~1 year to be relevant.

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          September 6, 2017 2:59 PM

          They wanted to spend their time making sure the Ice Bucket Challenge mechanics are just perfect

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      September 6, 2017 4:03 PM

      Borderlands 2 is probably the game I spent the most hours on, ahead of Total Annihilation 2 and Civ 4. So I'll take another if it's at least as good. I found the dialogue and characters were highly entertaining and the voice acting was top notch. The boss fights were crap though.

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        September 6, 2017 4:04 PM

        Er, the original TA, not the sequel.

      • reply
        September 7, 2017 12:51 AM

        Solo? Because despite the funny writing, solo it felt so boringly grindy. Like, hold down the fire button, use special ability on cool down, upgrade skills and guns when available.

    • reply
      September 6, 2017 4:04 PM

      Half-Life: Blue Shift 2???

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      September 6, 2017 4:07 PM

      Merry Christmas Shack, hope you like crap!

    • reply
      September 6, 2017 6:42 PM

      Sweet, I'll definitely be playing it.

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      September 6, 2017 10:21 PM

      Bet everything on red!!!!!

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      September 6, 2017 10:23 PM

      No thanks, I don't feel like having to follow a fucking game on twitter to be able to get loot, or whatever stupid gimmick they try with social media

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      September 6, 2017 10:49 PM

      Sneaky dev fucks!

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      September 7, 2017 12:12 AM

      They're working on sequel to their best selling game ever? Woah!

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      September 7, 2017 12:55 AM

      Borderlands 2 was great, but I'm not sure a straight up sequel with the same concept will interest people that much in 2018(?). There are so many more options for co-op gaming now than there were back then. Or at least that's how I feel about it.

      That said, I welcome more Borderlands.

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      September 7, 2017 1:27 AM

      I gave up on Borderlands 2 after a few hours because of the terrible save system so I hope they fix that.

    • reply
      September 7, 2017 2:48 AM

      Gearbox announces they will release Half-Life 3.

      Do you get excited?

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        September 7, 2017 2:51 AM

        I don't think loss of excitement for H-L3 has anything to do with Gearbox

      • reply
        September 7, 2017 3:17 AM

        Opposing Farce

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        September 7, 2017 3:18 AM

        I kind of prefer Opfor to half life in some ways.

        More combat focused, and had those cool sections where you have a full squad of AI.

        HL2 definitely could have used better combat.

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        September 7, 2017 2:37 PM

        I wouldn't get excited to play the game, but I'd be giddy thinking about all the backlash around the game after gearbox squeezes it out.

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      September 7, 2017 3:07 AM

      i could go for a coop shooter that isnt destiny