Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has revealed in an interview with EDGE Magazine that he was scared that the original Borderlands, which was released back in 2009, would be "a disaster".
Despite Borderlands 2 being the biggest selling game in Take 2 Interactive's history - an astonishing accomplishment considering the publisher also released the Grand Theft Auto and Civilization games - Pitchford stated he "was afraid Borderlands was going to be a disaster, frankly. All the Borderlands games have obviously been important for Gearbox, and they've been personally important to me."
He went on to note "but Borderlands was the second original series that we created, and it was a struggle. I was terrified the whole way. And I still couldn't quite believe it when the success kept rolling in - the tail was quite astounding on that game." Borthers In Arms was the studio's first independent production after making several Half-Life titles for Valve Software.
Pitchford then compared his struggle to promote Borderlands with his current attempts to sell Battleborn to the public. "When we were originally trying to pitch Borderlands, it kind of felt how it feels now when we're trying to talk about Battleborn," he related, adding "which is like, 'Dude, we think we're on to something!'"
But just because the creator thinks a project is special, it doesn't mean the public will agree. "We can scream as loud as we want, and people are still skeptical. 'We'll believe it when we see it.'" Marketing the game to magazines for promotion was a hard sell as well, and only word-of-mouth made the game successful. "Nobody really wanted to give us any attention for Borderlands, and it wasn't until we launched the game and people got to play it for themselves and talk about it with their friends that it took off into such a big thing," he stated.
Battleborn is due to be released in May 2016. It remains to be seen if gamers will latch on to the IP as they did Borderlands.