Gearbox May Be Working On Another Borderlands But “Family Friendly”
Borderlands 3 | Source: Steam
Gearbox Software is working on a new, original AAA “family friendly” first-person cooperative online multiplayer IP, possibly an action roleplaying game (RPG) developed using Unreal Engine 4.
Recent job listings suggest the video game may feature replayable levels, progression systems, combat, looting, crafting, and upgrades, hinting at it being an action role-playing first-person looter shooter video game franchise similar to the Borderlands franchise.
There are indications that the video game may include microtransactions, as well as an in-game economy and reward system.
The video game is expected to be multi-platform, and both local cooperative and online multiplayer experiences are likely to be part of the gameplay.
Recent job listings have revealed that Gearbox Software, a renowned video game development company owned by Embracer Group and known for successful franchises such as Borderlands, Brothers in Arms, and Duke Nukem, is possibly working on a fresh multi-platform AAA “family friendly” first-person cooperative online multiplayer IP. The video game appears to be an action roleplaying game (RPG) and is being developed using Unreal Engine 4.
Today, we stumbled upon fresh job listings posted on both the Gearbox Software website and the official LinkedIn page. These listings reveal the company’s ongoing efforts on a “new, original IP.” Among these job listings is one for the position of Lead Producer at Gearbox Software’s Frisco studio in Texas, United States.
The listing states, “Gearbox is actively seeking a skilled Lead Producer to assist in forming a team for our new, original IP—Join us in shaping the future of Gearbox Entertainment franchises!” It further elaborates, “In this role you will be asked to build a strong, collaborative, production team capable of creating an exciting new, AAA, franchise, and then managing that team through the lifecycle of the project.”
This new endeavour appears to be both ambitious and unique, as it involves the creation of a large-scale project and potentially introduces an entirely fresh franchise. The job listing provides clues that Unreal Engine 4 might be the chosen development platform, as evidenced by the mention of the bonus point, “Familiarity with developing in Unreal 4 a plus.” Furthermore, the listing emphasises, “A passion for family friendly, cooperative, games.”
Gearbox Software has a notable history with cooperative video games, as evident in successful franchises like Borderlands. However, the mention of a family-friendly video game in its current project is quite unusual for the company. This is because Gearbox is primarily recognised for its popular franchises like Duke Nukem and Brothers in Arms, which are known for their content that is not suitable for a family-friendly audience.
Moreover, there is a possibility that this new franchise will be a first-person game. The job listing for the Senior UI Programmer position at Gearbox Software’s Frisco studio in Texas, United States, includes a bonus point that mentions, “Programming experience with first-person games.” It is worth noting that first-person video games are not unfamiliar territory for the company, as it has predominantly focused on releasing first-person franchises like Borderlands, Duke Nukem, and Half-Life.
However, that’s not all; additional job listings on Gearbox Software’s official LinkedIn page provide even more intriguing insights into their current project. In particular, the Senior Game Designer position at the company’s Québec studio in Canada emphasises, “Collaborate closely with the Level Design team to ensure the features being developed make sense in situ and create a compelling and replayable experience.” As a result, it appears reasonable to assume that the video game will incorporate replayable levels.
Furthermore, there is a compelling indication that this new franchise may belong to the action roleplaying (RPG) genre. This can be inferred from one of the job qualifications that mentions, “Holistic understanding of the systems (both AI and related) needed to make compelling and engaging enemies (behaviors, signs & feedback, readability, progression, balancing, etc.).”
This suggests that the video game is likely to feature a progression system and combat elements. This idea is reinforced by another job qualification that states, “Experience in related design specialties such as combat, encounters, etc. is a plus.”
Adding more weight to the prediction that this new project is likely an action roleplaying game (RPG), the job listing for the Game Designer position at Gearbox Software’s Québec studio in Canada emphasises, “Design, prototype, implement and iterate on all progression-related game loops, systems and features (loot, crafting, equipment, upgrades, etc.).”
Although the job listings do not explicitly state that the project belongs to the action roleplaying game (RPG) genre, aspects such as combat, progression, looting, crafting, equipment, and upgrades are commonly linked with action roleplaying games (RPG), and contribute to the genre’s defining features. Notably, these very elements are also present in Gearbox Software’s renowned action role-playing first-person looter shooter video game franchise, Borderlands.
Lastly, there is a suggestion that the new project might incorporate microtransactions, as indicated by the job listing for the Monetisation Designer at the company’s Québec studio in Canada, which states, “The Monetization Designer will work closely with the team at various production stages to implement the monetization strategy for an AAA game and ensure its monitoring during the live period of the product.”
Despite the controversial nature of microtransactions in the video game community, companies are not deterred from integrating in-game monetisation features into their video games. SQUARE ENIX, for instance, has taken a step further by introducing non-fungible tokens (NFT) into its video game franchises, a move that has garnered substantial backlash from players.
Furthermore, the franchise’s monetisation aspect may encompass a reward system, indicated by one of the job qualifications that mentions, “In-depth knowledge of various monetization, retention, economy, and reward structures – how each is deployed, monitored, and iterated upon.” Additionally, Gearbox Software’s new project is likely to be multi-platform, as evidenced by another job qualification that reads, “Delivery of at least three multi-platform titles.”
In addition, there are indications that the new franchise will not only offer a local cooperative multiplayer experience but also an online one. This is evident from one of the assets mentioned in the job requirements, which highlights, “Experience in AAA multiplayer games in cooperation and/or online.”
The nature of this new franchise from Gearbox Software remains uncertain, but it undoubtedly generates excitement. Intriguingly, many of the characteristics revealed in the job listings bear resemblance to elements found in the Borderlands franchise, suggesting a potential spin-off given the project’s status as a brand-new franchise. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that this is mere speculation at present, and only time will reveal the true nature of the company’s current undertaking.
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