One of the other panels I got my way in to at PAX this year was with the guys from Gearbox Studios. This was easily the highlight for me (not surprising considering the number of hours I have spent playing Borderlands 2 lately!) and the guys brought some great news and announcements with them about what is happening for them right now.
The guys opened up by explaining a side project they had going with the Art Academy of San Francisco, where they ran a competition of sorts to see what the students at the academy could come up with when asked to make short animated films based on the Borderlands universe. They had heaps of entries submitted, but they had to choose three to actually produce in to fully animated films that they would put together and publish. They showed us the story board images and script for one of these – “Bride of Franken-trap”. I was almost in tears laughing at this one and can’t wait to see it come out in full, which they said will be in the first half of next year.
Up next the guys got to talking about Borderlands 2 in some detail, specifically what they are doing in regards to more DLC. For those who don’t know, the last of the Borderlands 2 season pass content came out a short while ago, but the Gearbox guys aren’t done yet. They are adding 2 more DLC packs in the next couple of months. The first will be the ‘Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack Level 2″ which will again boost the level cap in the game up to 72. Incorporated in this is the “Digistruct peak challenge”, a whole lot of new loot and other goodies too. It will be priced at around $5 (not part of the previous season pass) and will be available before the end of October.
They are adding some other free DLC as well to add more goodies to the game, boost ammo capacity upgrades that you can buy, increase the size of your bank to stash items and improve the size of your inventory. All good news there, and like I said, it will be free! They didn’t have a date for this one, just “soon-ish” so keep an eye out for that!
From here the guys got to talking about the Gearbox Software community day and what they are doing in this space for this year. The last couple of years the guys invited people to come to a place in Dallas to participate – this year though they are going to do it as an online thing so that the whole world can participate! It will take place on September 14, and you can see everything going on through their website at http://gearboxsoftware.com/communityday. It will be free to watch, but they did mention they will be having some passes you can buy for the day that will get you access to some goodies (things like exclusive heads and skins for Borderlands 2 for example) but details there will be announced soon.
Moving along the guys went in to talking about some of their projects happening outside of Borderlands – they have a bunch of new titles being worked on for the next gen consoles, which is great to hear! This also includes some new IP as well, which should be great to see. The guys did also make an announcement about another IP they picked up – when THQ went bust they ended up winning the rights to the Home World franchise at auction. So what do you do when you win that sort of thing? You release HD remakes of Home World 1 and 2! The guys have these in progress right now, so if you were a fan of the original games this should excite you. In addition to that, they are also going to make the original versions available for current gen consoles as well, so no one will miss out on the game.
To finish up the panel the guys showed ups a glimpse at the second of the planned DLC packs for Borderlands 2 – “T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest”. If you played the DLC from Borderlands 1 the name will sound familiar to you, basically what’s going on here is that TK has set up a Zombie retirement community, lots of demons and stuff there and it has a big Halloween theme throughout. They demo’ed one of the first boss fights from the pack (against a giant pumpkin named “Jacques O’Lantern” – clever right?) and it looked like more good fun. The guys said they are targeting this to be release before Halloween in the states, so keep an eye out for this in the back half of October. There wasn’t any idea of pricing on this one yet though.
That wrapped things up for Gearbox, it was great to see them make the trek over to Australia to see the fans and to make some announcements like that. So what do you guys think? Are you fans of Borderlands at all? Excited about the new DLC? Let us know in the comments!