Update, May 16: The new game from 2K - which we all believe to be Borderlands 3 - has been delayed, and probably won't be shown at E3.
It’s been a strange week if you’re one of the many looking forward to Borderlands 3, with a contradictory series of reports and rumours painting a confusing picture of when we’ll be able to see - or play - the game, and Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford is even making efforts to add to the confusion.
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The one thing we know for certain, via Take Two’s latest financials, is that subsidiary label 2K have delayed a “highly anticipated title” to fiscal year 2020, which runs in real, calendar year from April 2019 to March 2020. This game was previously mentioned in their last fiscal report, and given the timeline we all expected that this game would be Borderlands 3.
This comes after a report from Shacknews which suggested that there wouldn’t be a Borderlands presence at E3, and that Gearbox would instead focus on other titles. However, today’s financial conference call saw Take-Two president Karl Slatoff say that they wouldn’t be showing any new games at E3, as DualShockers report, Borderlands 3 or otherwise.
Of course, Gearbox are a private company separate from 2K and Take-Two, though we’d expect Borderlands 3 (or any of those other mysterious games) to continue to be under their publishing umbrella during an event as significant as E3.
If you were hoping for any additional clarity from Gearbox’s boss, you’re out of luck. Pitchford took to Twitter yesterday to paraphrase magician Todd Robbins in saying “When I make something vanish (which is a magic trick, and fake), people will swear that it is real. But when I eat a light bulb (which is not magic, and is real) people will swear that it is fake - a trick.”
To that point, Pitchford says “I could write it out now precisely and specifically that ‘Borderlands 3’ will not be at E3 and many of you will choose not to believe it. Many of you will find a way to interpret the intent to suit what you want to believe regardless of what is true,” adding that “It feels as if ‘Borderlands 3’ may be destined to be the next Half-Life 3 in that regard.” (He also asked four fans looking for clarity on Twitter “Is Borderlands 3 the new Half-Life 3?”)
But after all this, I’d be inclined to accept a straight yes or no on the Borderlands 3 announcement either way. The sequel was one of the many games named in the Walmart Canada leak, and after the unlikeliest game on the list - Rage 2 - turned out to be real, that leak might have a little more weight than we’d initially given it.
Original story, February 1: In light of news of the delay for Red Dead Redemption 2 announced today - still no PC confirmation, by the way - Take-Two reiterated their financial goals for fiscal year 2019. As part of the press release, they say they’ve got another major game to launch in the coming fiscal year, and there’s plenty of reason to suspect that it’ll be the next Borderlands game.
“Take-Two continues to expect to deliver both record Net Bookings and record net cash provided by operating activities, in excess of $2.5 billion and $700 million, respectively, during fiscal year 2019, led by the launches of Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 and a highly anticipated new title from one of 2K’s biggest franchises.”
The end of fiscal year 2019 would March 31, 2019. Looking at what could qualify as “one of 2K’s biggest franchises,” the timing points strongly to the third main entry in the Borderlands series. Development on the title has been a not-quite-secret for some time, with Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford saying that 90% of the studio is “working on the thing I think most of you guys want us to be working on,” and even publically chatting with Elon Musk to get a novelty flamethrower into the game.
The one other significant possibility is a new BioShock game, which years ago the publishers suggested would be handled by studio 2K Marin. Rockstar’s already putting out Red Dead Redemption, and the remainder of 2K’s lineup is made up largely of known quantities like sports and regular wrestling titles, which aren’t necessarily the flagship releases you’d highlight to investors in this scenario.
So expect to hear more on Borderlands soon. Unless, of course, Agent comes back, in which case all bets are off. (It’s definitely not Agent.)