Gearbox had Blade Runner license, dropped it for financial reasons

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford told Official PlayStation Magazine that plans for a game set in the Blade Runner universe were scrapped for financial reasons, sending an echo of sadness to all nerds who are not in fact replicants.

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In a recent feature in Official PlayStation Magazine, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford postulates that if his team went ahead with its early plans to develop a game based on the Blade Runner franchise, it "would have been the end" of his company [via CVG].

Citing Blade Runner as a dream property that Gearbox once had in its pocket, Pitchford says that a game based the Ridley Scott film--which is based on the on the Philip K. Dick classic novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"--"would've cost like $40m to make and sold about 600,000 units."

That decision, Pitchford says, would have forced Gearbox to close its doors.

Pitchford says that there is "no rational" business model that would have made sense to release the Blade Runner game Gearbox envisioned. "If we'd made it with a business model that did work, it would not have been the Blade Runner game we all would have wanted," he said.

According to Pitchford, Gearbox went as far as to meet with Alien and Blade Runner director Ridley Scott to discuss plans for games based on his work.

Though it was once thought to be canceled, Aliens: Colonial Marines is still in development and will arrive on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 next spring.

I guess that means we're stuck with only one awesome Blade Runner game, folks.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 30, 2011 6:00 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Gearbox had Blade Runner license, dropped it for financial reasons.

    Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford told Official PlayStation Magazine that plans for a game set in the Blade Runner universe were scrapped for financial reasons, sending an echo of sadness to all nerds who are not in fact replicants.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 6:05 PM

      Screw Gearbox, I want whatever magic needs to happen so that the old Blade Runner game shows up on GOG.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 6:07 PM

      Possibly the best thing to ever happen to the Blade Runner license.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 6:08 PM

        I like Borderlands, but I can't really see them doing a good Blade Runner game.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 6:16 PM

        This is the best comment on the shack today.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 6:50 PM

        Absolutely.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 6:59 PM

        The one Blade Runner game was awesome though.

        • reply
          June 30, 2011 7:04 PM

          It was and I'd love another Blade Runner game, but off the top of my head I can't think of a single modern studio I'd entrust with it.

        • reply
          June 30, 2011 8:41 PM

          Fuck, I wish I could pick it up somewhere new legally

          • reply
            June 30, 2011 11:10 PM

            I found it on ebay 4/5 years back

        • reply
          July 1, 2011 11:18 AM

          I bought it years ago and never opened the box. I still have it sitting around somewhere.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 7:10 PM

        As someone who got to see the Aliens: Colonial Marines footage, all I can say is you guys are seriously underestimating Gearbox's ability to handle a cinematic sci-fi license.

        • reply
          June 30, 2011 7:18 PM

          we'll see ifwhen they release the thing. Seeing a vertical slice is a lot different than seeing the actual end result.

        • reply
          June 30, 2011 8:27 PM

          Adapting an action flick with guns and aliens is much different than adapting a character piece.

        • reply
          June 30, 2011 9:02 PM

          As someone who has played gearbox games, I beg to disagree.

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            July 1, 2011 5:35 AM

            Hahah this a million times. I've yet to play a high quality Gearbox game.

        • reply
          June 30, 2011 10:34 PM

          Colony on LV-426 gets nuked, setting for A:CM is in colony afterwards. Wat?

        • reply
          July 1, 2011 5:34 AM

          Never trust anything coming from any studio before the game is launched. Shit is doctored up, cut, pasted, and scripted to look awesome.

          The best thing to look at is past games. Gearbox makes medicore games. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts (don't know what that means tbh) that A:CM will be average or slightly above average at best.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 6:10 PM

      lol Thank goodness. Gearbox's low common denominator sense of humor and writing wouldn't fit at all in the Blade Runner universe.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 6:11 PM

        for my money, Prey 2 might as well be called Blade Runner DX, because that looks much better than probably anything Gearbox could have churned out.

        • reply
          June 30, 2011 6:22 PM

          lol reading the article.. Making a good Blade Runner game isn't rocket science. He acts as if it were the hardest game to make/sell. Hell if Heavy Rain could sell millions, then Randy is obviously in over his head as far as imagination goes.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 6:14 PM

      I watched the final cut on BR the other day. Such a good movie. Also there already was a Blade Runner game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner_(1997_video_game)

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 6:27 PM

        Sales of the game were in excess of one million, and the critical reception of the game was generally positive. Gee, looks like a good Blade Runner game wouldn't sell worth squat, right?

        • reply
          June 30, 2011 7:10 PM

          He knew that in order for gearbox to sell a good Blade Runner game, they'd have to make a good game.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 6:54 PM

        I linked that very game in the story! Reading is fundamental.

        • reply
          July 1, 2011 9:27 AM

          Fundamentally dying at an alarming pace. You should start doing articles in newspeak so it'll all fit in the comment preview.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 7:08 PM

        I remember my older sister watched me play that game to shield me from some violence or some nudity. I don't think i ever finished it, but i've got fond memories.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 7:13 PM

        I think Syndicate was actually a better association if nothing else because of the setting and environment.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syndicate_(video_game)

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 6:17 PM

      Good news, everybody!

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 6:24 PM

      This is pretty good news. You SUCK, Gearbox.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 6:52 PM

      Good. I don't want a Blade Runnier shooter.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 7:09 PM

      ROFL thank God!

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 7:18 PM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 7:19 PM

      I would rather have ix cancelled forever then end up with gearbox.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 8:28 PM

      Good news. We didn't need Bro Runner.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 8:53 PM

      I can only imagine how dumbed-down and utterly generic a Blade Runner game created in this age of mainstream gaming would end up being.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 10:15 PM

        Well for one the androids wouldn't die because their health regenerates over time. :p

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 9:16 PM

      Just get the developers of LA Noire to make Blade Runner game. It would probably rock.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 9:33 PM

        [deleted]

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        June 30, 2011 9:34 PM

        omg

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        June 30, 2011 10:16 PM

        LA Noire technology, but not made by Team Bondi please, not unless they hire a fun specialists first.

        LA Noire is a bore and a half, I really wanted to like it but after playing through all the cases I just look back on it as one big snooze with a wtf is this shit ending.

        oh, and no bi-polar Blade Runners please.

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 8:48 AM

        [deleted]

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 9:36 PM

      How was the Westwood Blade Runner game?

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 10:15 PM

        I didn't like it. Never got off disk 1.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 11:09 PM

        It was fantastic. Quite a unique take on the adventure game genre where the same event didn't necessarily happen in every playthrough.

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          June 30, 2011 11:14 PM

          I remember that the cinematics were the best that I'd seen at that point

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            June 30, 2011 11:19 PM

            the backgrounds/lighting were remarkable, the game really did capture the atmosphere of the movie.

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 11:22 PM

        It was pretty fucking awesome. Multiple endings and paths through the game. Incredible environments, especially the atmospheric lighting effects. I think I still have my discs somewhere...

      • reply
        June 30, 2011 11:28 PM

        Visually and aurally, it was fantastic. The game aspect left something to be desired, imo.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 11:06 PM

      Thank goodness. The last thing that cool IP needs is to be "Gearboxed." Whew! Crisis averted.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 11:06 PM

      Great. I hope Gearbox never gets to touch a property I care about again.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 11:06 PM

      Thank god

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      June 30, 2011 11:11 PM

      i'm conflicted, though i agree that this is the best thing to ever happen to the franchise, the scenario of gearbox going up in flames if attempting to release a blade runner game sounds almost worth it.

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        July 1, 2011 9:34 AM

        that made me laugh! choked on my coffee.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 11:23 PM

      It wasn't meant to be. Also one more thing to all studios - stop trying to make games based on movies.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 11:30 PM

      Here's a good gearbox game: Opposing Force. Wait a sec....

      The mechanics of a lot of games are kind of rounding up to have similar stuff. "Same shit. Different toilet" Scenario. A company I'd trust would be Valve, but they don't do stuff for other people. I think it's up to the fans for that kind of stuff, because max feedback.

    • reply
      June 30, 2011 11:39 PM

      [deleted]

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      June 30, 2011 11:43 PM

      give me blade runner, but not from gearbox. give me nothing from gearbox, in fact.

    • reply
      July 1, 2011 2:45 AM

      Holy fuck, most of the comments here are sour as shit

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        July 1, 2011 5:37 AM

        Agreed.

        WTF is wrong with this community?

        Gearbox should be lauded for making the decision to not cut any corners, for either stick to their vision or don't do it at all.

        Bottom line, Gearbox is a great developer (despite DNF; all they did was polishing someone elses turd - at the end it was of course still a turd).

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 5:38 AM

        Gearbox has a shit reputation.

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        July 1, 2011 6:10 AM

        Considering the last decent games Gearbox made was OpForce and Blue Shift, yeah, I'd assume most of the comments would be sour as shit.

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          July 1, 2011 6:19 AM

          The Brothers in Arms games and Borderlands are acknowledged to be good to great games.
          I think I missed the day Randy Pitchfork (lol geddit) shit on shacknews' collective biscuits.

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            July 1, 2011 6:22 AM

            The Brothers in Arms games and Borderlands are acknowledged to be good to great games.
            People acknowledge that when they die they are going to heaven, it doesn't mean it's true. I stand by my opinion that Gearbox is a shit developer who should have been out of business years ago. Losing the Blade Runner license is the best possible outcome for them.

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              July 1, 2011 6:31 AM

              Even if you don't like their execution, you've gotta see that they're both games built on interesting and rarely/never done ideas. Every other world war 2 game entirely skips over the emotional impact in favour of action set pieces. They did something really cool imo. And borderlands is pretty out there, a co-op only loot and quest based cel-shaded FPS.

              Sure they had problems with the UI and their boss encounters, but they also made huge leaps ahead in their DLC, which is far better than what EA has been doing with their add-on missions.

              I don't wish any videogame developer to go out of business, because I love videogames. And Gearbox is one of the bigger more important ones.

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                July 1, 2011 6:39 AM

                And Gearbox is one of the bigger more important ones.
                I don't think I've ever seen somebody be so wrong outside of politics.

                • reply
                  July 1, 2011 6:50 AM

                  Oh...ok, Sorry didn't mean to wind you up. I only say it in that they're a big studio with high profile releases, and they take on a lot of projects at once

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                    July 1, 2011 6:57 AM

                    I'm not wound up :) What exactly does taking on multiple projects have to do with quality? The Just Cause 2 guys are working on 5 games concurrently, does that make them better than iD who's only working on Rage? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gearbox_Software#Games_developed that's the list of games gearbox has made. I honestly can't see anything on there past Blue Shift that isn't utter bullocks. They worked on the worst James Bond game, the worst of the THPS, the worst of the Counter Strikes, the horrible PC port of Halo and then it's just BiA games over and over and over up until Borderlands and DNF, both of which were questionable quality at best. I won't even bother bringing up the whole Steve lying to us about the pc port of Borderlands, that's a hurt I'd rather just forget.

                    • reply
                      July 1, 2011 7:05 AM

                      I'm not some Gearbox fan that anticipates their releases with baited breath. I've only really played OpFor, one of the BoA and Borderlands+DLC. And I liked them all, quite a lot.
                      Oh and DNF, which is the game i've probably enjoyed the least in several years, but that's something of an anomoly. I just find it crazy that they get shit on so heavily on shacknews, unfairly imo. There are many many worse games that come out and fade away with a few posts about how crap it was, but hey, at least they tried something new. But then theres a post about how gearbox isn't making a game, and people come out the woodwork to say "good fucking news, I hope Randy gets feline aids, and his whole company goes under"

                      • reply
                        July 1, 2011 7:10 AM

                        I don't think you grasp just how much nerds love Blade Runner. This could have been any other license and it probably wouldn't have gotten 5 responses. Blade Runner is special.

                        • reply
                          July 1, 2011 8:29 AM

                          I've never watched Blade Runner. Is it on Netflix?

                          • reply
                            July 1, 2011 8:33 AM

                            It was on streaming last week but it appears to be back to disc only. It was pretty much a watershed moment in scifi and should be required viewing.

                          • reply
                            July 1, 2011 9:28 AM

                            What the fuck. GO, NOW!!!11

                      • Ebu legacy 10 years
                        reply
                        July 1, 2011 8:28 AM

                        For reference: bated breath

                        It's not a fishhook. :(

                • reply
                  July 1, 2011 7:20 AM

                  Their offices take up three floors of a bank building in Plano, they employ hundreds of people, and they just handed out a five figure quarterly bonus

                  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/23/eveningnews/main20073815.shtml

                  Whether or not you liked Borderlands, the fact remains that yes Gearbox is one of the bigger more important game developers. They're the largest independent game developer in the country.

                  You are wrong.

                  • reply
                    July 1, 2011 7:24 AM

                    The only place I can find mention of Gearbox being the largest developer is that interview. And since the only mention is a Steve Gibson quote, I'll probably have to take that with a grain of salt.

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                    July 1, 2011 8:06 AM

                    lol @ the five figure bonus...yeah how many of the artists got that. I bet that was only to the management, while everyone else got free cake.

                    • Ebu legacy 10 years
                      reply
                      July 1, 2011 8:29 AM

                      I love cake.

                      German Chocolate?

                    • reply
                      July 1, 2011 8:33 AM

                      It goes to my overall point that they are a large, successful and important developer.

                      Also the cake was served up by a dead eyed stripper provided you brought her popcorn, a condom and a dildo.

                    • reply
                      July 1, 2011 12:07 PM

                      actually every single developer is part of the royalty pool here, not just management, and it's based on time spent at the company and time spent on the project, so yeah those checks went out to artists and designers and programmers and management.

                      you dont get a bigger cut for your job description

                      • reply
                        July 1, 2011 12:36 PM

                        MY BONUS post

                        just for the record, as a designer, having nothing to do with management, my bonus was significantly higher than the example show in that video. That number there was for someone who probably only worked on 1 or 2 full sized projects here.

          • reply
            July 1, 2011 6:40 AM

            Acknowledged by whom? The first BiA was decent in that it offered some new gameplay mechanics (which quickly got stale), but the rest are pretty shit.

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              July 1, 2011 8:32 AM

              Back when they announced Furious 4 people were up in arms (no pun intended) about how it will sully the name of BiA

              http://www.shacknews.com/article/68736/brothers-in-arms-furious-4

              • reply
                July 1, 2011 9:19 AM

                quick glance at the thread reveals more of a lol/thislookslikeshit/l4nazis? reaction with the random 3 dudes saying borderlands was and the first bia was good.

                both games were "ok" ignoring the issues they had. looking at how they pimped the series back then with "authenticity" and change of characters over time etc even those who liked it say its odd.

                also you are leaning wide out of the window with claims of "greatness". gearbox is known for polishing turds of other companies (cs,halo,bond,duke, hawk etc) the only really good games they ever made were opposing force and blue shift (which were extremely overpriced at release considering that they were glorified addons).

                the body of work of the company is rather thin and their reputation is terrible amongst many gamers (for good reason).

                • reply
                  July 1, 2011 9:28 AM

                  I think they should rename Furious 4 to Bastards In Arms. Everyone wins that way.

                  It's true that prior to BiA they were a "porting house" - everything they did was a version, port, sequel or expansion to someone else's game. And when they did do an original IP, it was Yet Another WW2 game. But this allowed them to grow considerably and they have a comfortable financial position to sit on now. A game like Borderlands was a risk (as witnessed by the polarizing reactions here on the Shack) and they could only attempt something like that when they're financially secure. But this is why they're to "go-to" developer for things like the Blade Runner license, or the Aliens license, or even finishing up DNF. They have a track record and a large talented team. We may disagree on whether their games are good but really, it all boils down to numbers and their business decisions thus far have been pretty smart.

                  Compare that to Ritual which made one successful expansion and then made their first original IP game, which tanked and nearly took out the company. And then they got by with expansions/sequels/ports for many years before trying again, which tanked once again and took the company down with it (that's oversimplification since SinEp1 apparently sold briskly but not well enough)

                  • reply
                    July 1, 2011 9:45 AM

                    i'm well aware of the monetary side of the equation. that not the issue we disagree on. the problem is exactly our disagreement on the quality of their games and their conduct in representing those.

                    if pitchford was a bite less of a douche and they wouldn't have bullshitted the community on the lead platform of borderland or shown the slightest pr skills people would give them some leeway.

                    the way it is now its a company that is known for shovelware with a exactly 1 "risky" (who are we kidding its a fps) franchise that is apparently liked by some (my guess is more by console fans than pc dudes).

                    if i was interested in only making money with shovelware as the owner of the licence i'd consider gearbox,
                    if i wanted a good game or something to further the reputation of it i'd stay the fuck away from them.

                    the alien franchise has already hit rockbottom with the sequels and spin offs ala alien vs predator.
                    bladerunner hasn't.

                    once bladerunner 4: fast future for the furious is released i'm sure gearbox would be the perfect studio for this.

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 10:28 AM

        thats because gearbox = shit

    • reply
      July 1, 2011 3:00 AM

      one less thing to be disappointed about

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      July 1, 2011 3:29 AM

      There's no less than four cyberpunky shooters of various flavours coming out: Prey 2, this thing: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/11/june/um1.jpg , Deus Ex 3 and the new Blacklight game - all of them shamelessly plagiarize Blade Runner for the visuals and the themes to whatever extent you care to engage with, I don't really feel we're missing out.

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 4:56 AM

        that screenshot you posted looks really great. It's a complete ripoff off blade runner, but it's really well done.

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 5:01 AM

        Plagiarism is a little harsh when most of them directly state the influence. Besides, Blade Runner was heavily influenced by the art of Jean Giraud and you don't see people making that sort of comment about it.

        • reply
          July 1, 2011 7:30 AM

          Dunno. I wouldn't get too hung up on my wording in that post, I didn't mean anything in particular by it.

          • reply
            July 1, 2011 7:46 AM

            Typical example of casual attitudes towards our plagiarism culture

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 5:03 PM

        Don't forget the Source indie game EYE.

    • reply
      July 1, 2011 5:31 AM

      thank god. It would have sold 600k because Gearbox is medicore at best. Give it to a competent development studio and it would have sold triple that.

    • reply
      July 1, 2011 8:21 AM

      Lets continue to milk dead franchises and scrap something that could possibly be the greatest franchise of all time.... boooooo !!!

    • reply
      July 1, 2011 9:21 AM

      It's funny how Xav so misunderstands his audience..I detect no "echo of sadness" in this thread.

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 2:37 PM

        I detect a bunch of idiots.

        • reply
          July 1, 2011 2:39 PM

          Bitter and pathetic idiots! I feel bad for Garnett & Co for having to deal with a shit community like this.

          • reply
            July 1, 2011 2:43 PM

            We each have our cross to bear. After-all, we have you.

            • reply
              July 1, 2011 5:42 PM

              whoa whoah easy there buddy, why are you hating on the retarded? poor dude was born this way, its not his fault.

              if you startle him he might choke an garnetts cock.

          • reply
            July 1, 2011 7:05 PM

            Who the fuck are you person with 16 posts? Ahh, nevermind, it's gotta be Pitchfork. Character accounts are not allowed Randy. Please fuck off and die.

            • reply
              July 1, 2011 11:13 PM

              Fortunately, not really a participant in this community.

              • reply
                July 1, 2011 11:20 PM

                shame though, the amount of butthurt emanating from you is highly entertaining. would love to read more bleeding vagina posts of yours. feel free to cry some more as your salty tears are unexpectedly sweet.

              • reply
                July 2, 2011 12:04 AM

                You'll never get promoted with that attitude, Mister.

            • reply
              July 2, 2011 12:07 AM

              The spelling is far too good to be Pichford and not nearly sperggy enough.

    • reply
      July 1, 2011 9:29 AM

      Maybe if gamers quit bitching about everything, shit like this would be made.

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 11:44 AM

        shit like this IS being made. We just don't want Gearbox to make it.

        • reply
          July 1, 2011 2:35 PM

          You are idiots. This community is the worst I've seen in quite a while.

    • DM7 legacy 10 years
      reply
      July 1, 2011 10:15 AM

      Darn.

    • reply
      July 1, 2011 11:54 AM

      I'd buy an Obsidian developed game before another Gearbox game.

      • reply
        July 1, 2011 2:33 PM

        I bet you immediately took a shower after you typed this.

      • reply
        July 2, 2011 4:04 PM

        Speaking as a die-hard fan of Fallout & Fallout 2: no. thanks.

        Obsidian's recent work exemplifies shoddy game design, atrocious art direction and half-assed execution. Once upon a time, these guys had a special place in my heart. With recent steaming turds like New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, and Dungeon Siege, I can only hope they get their business in order before they sink in an ocean of new rising talent.

      • reply
        July 2, 2011 4:05 PM

        ...unless I missed the sarcasm in your statement, in which case, well played sir. Well played.

    • reply
      July 1, 2011 9:46 PM

      sigh of relief.

    • reply
      July 4, 2011 2:03 AM

      I think the people behind Batman: Arkham Asylum could do a good Blade Runner game. Graphically they're pretty much there. They just need less clowns and monsters, and more lighted umbrellas, rain, and some flying cars. Throw in a detective story and there you go - Blade Runner.

    • reply
      July 4, 2011 3:02 AM

      Gearbox you suck! That P&C Bladerunner game was the nuts, pity it wont work on Win7 64bit

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