Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Is Proof That Next-Gen Can Wait

There’s a certain risk associated with dumping one console for another. The market is currently supporting two generations at once, and while most gaming enthusiasts have held on to their PlayStation 3’s and Xbox 360’s, the shift from old to new is a slow one. Technology is still very much in its early stages in terms of utilization — most publishers don’t want to release a new-gen only title, as there’s currently no significant install base, and developers can’t afford to craft two separate experiences tailored to the strengths of both generations. The problem is, while there isn’t necessarily room for six different consoles to coexist, money is the name of the game, and it’s what turns a majority of the gears in this industry.

Gearbox, the company behind Borderlands, isn’t interested in taking that risk. However, it’s not all about the money. There’s no real benefit to jumping into new-gen territory head-first, as far as they’re concerned, and install base is the only market research they need. Why spend money and resources on new technology when most interested fans have last-gen consoles at the ready? “I’m a crazy hardcore gamer and I’m right on the cutting edge — I have all the new stuff as soon as it comes out. But we have to remember that our fans, the people that have supported us, they don’t necessarily have the same kind of disposable income that we do and they’re not as quick to adopt the new platforms. The idea of leaving any of those guys behind is just something that we couldn’t feel good about,” Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox explained.

“There’s more people that bought Borderlands 2 than there are installed units of Xbox Ones and PlayStation 4s. Meanwhile there’s 150 million installed PlayStation 3s and Xbox 360s.”

It’s true that Gearbox could simply put together different versions for each available platform, but there’s plenty of method to their madness in swaying from such concepts. “We decided to take the entire amount of people that could be dedicated to this game and actually make the game better with those people instead of spending time on technology, and it costs money to be on the new platforms. We’re pretty certain of the people that have already gotten the new platforms, almost all of them have the earlier platforms,” said Pitchford. It’s likely that Gearbox is tinkering with new technology, and even more so that it’s a title for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There’s no rush, however, and they’re finding it best to crawl into this new generation, rather than sprint without careful consideration.