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‘Borderlands 3’ suspicions grow after publisher hint

/ 07:42 PM February 04, 2018

Image: AFP Relaxnews

In development at Gearbox Software, larger-than-life sci-fi shooter “Borderlands” could drop its next franchise entry in early 2019, if that’s what publisher Take-Two Interactive is talking about in its latest statement.

As tentpole release “Red Dead Redemption 2” was moved from April or May to October 2018, publisher Take-Two Interactive emphasized that its financial forecasts for the coming year weren’t being adjusted as a result.

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In fact, alongside “Red Dead Redemption 2”, Take-Two pointed towards another unnamed title that would propel it towards record revenues.

What that “highly anticipated new title from one of 2K’s biggest franchises” might be is up for speculation, but a new “Borderlands” leads several other possibilities.

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In addition to “Grand Theft Auto” and other releases from subsidiary Rockstar Games, such as the upcoming “Red Dead Redemption 2”, Take-Two is closely associated with a handful of other long-term properties.

Global empire-building strategy “Civilization” is currently on its sixth numbered iteration, while another turn-based strategy, “XCOM”, leads elite troops into combat against alien invaders.

Ahistorical action series “BioShock” is on hiatus after the expensive “BioShock Infinite” failed to meet projections and its studio was restructured as a much more modest affair.

That leaves “Borderlands” a surprise hit upon its 2009 debut when it combined a unique visual style with off-kilter characters and a randomized loot mechanic that kept players hunting for better and more powerful equipment.

A direct sequel followed in 2012 and, while original studio Gearbox was busy with a different project, “Battleborn”, Take-Two’s now-defunct 2K Australia studio turned out 2014 spin-off “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel”.

Narrative choice and consequence adventure “Tales from the Borderlands” offered a more story-based perspective on the franchise’s wild world, while two-game compilation “The Handsome Collection” gave the core franchise a foothold on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

But in the interim, the “Destiny” series grew from unknown quantity to genre giant, and “Borderlands” will want to avoid a head-to-head.

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Activision’s enormous franchise swapped “Borderlands” oddball nature for the glossy sheen of realism, focused even harder on character progression, equipment collection and microtransactions, and committed to a rolling schedule of events, updates and expansions.

Perhaps that’s why Take-Two has targeted early 2019 for a “Borderlands 3”, by which time “Destiny 2” would be around halfway through its content cycle.

If that is the case, then “Borderlands 3” would be almost toe-to-toe against Electronic Arts’ own sci-fi shooter, “Anthem”, itself recently moved from late 2018 to early 2019. JB

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TAGS: BioShock, Borderlands, Borderlands 3, Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption
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