Gearbox could not be in a worse position in 2013. After the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines, gamers were pissed. Their reasons were justified, too. Gearbox had pulled a bait and switch with its gameplay videos. The final boxed product of Colonial Marines didn’t even come close to what was shown at E3.
Today, Gearbox is at it again. Randy Pitchford, CEO of the company, took to Twitter to defend the demo they showed for Colonial Marines. In his own words, “To share intent with work-in-progress should be encouraged!” His alternative is to never show a game.
I’m honestly baffled by this. A man who genuinely seemed to enjoy gaming when Duke Nukem Forever was released, I have no idea how Pitchford could even think his actions are redeemable. Gearbox showed off a demo of a game without even noting it was a work in progress. They claimed it was representative of the finished product.
When there are multiple users online uploading videos to YouTube about how your game is a sham, why would you still cling to a lie? Pitchford, sadly, speaks for his entire company, too. I find it impossible to not despise Gearbox even though other employees probably don’t agree with him.
What really grinds my gears is an extended report that Forbes released about the similarities between Borderlands and an MTV short named CodeHunters. Comparing the two games, there are practically like-for-like shots in Gearbox’s brainchild.
Now, I’m all for gathering inspiration from another property, but what happened here? This is practically plagiarism. If I were to remake a Hollywood production, I’d be thrown in jail faster than the speed of sound. When Gearbox does it, it just renames the product and suddenly all is forgotten.
It doesn’t help that Borderlands 2 seems tailor-made for DLC. A character that is left out of the game and bonus content not included in the official season pass; how exactly is Gearbox still retaining a fanbase?
I’m really torn about the whole issue. I honestly wanted to try Borderlands 2 as I eventually came around to liking the original. With Gearbox utilizing such scummy business practices, though, should I be supporting the company? Is buying Borderlands 2 in my best interest?
Much like how Microsoft wanted to control its consumers, Gearbox appears content to lie through its teeth and suck our money away. If you can gain enough pre-orders, then polishing off your games doesn’t need to be a top priority.
I’m not going to stand for this anymore. I used to enjoy the classic Gearbox titles like Brothers in Arms and Opposing Force. If Randy doesn’t want to own up about his own false façade, though, then I just won’t allow him to preach anymore.
So, keep on trucking Randy. Say whatever you’d like about your crappy little game. When your business starts to crumble, I’m not going to be the one to rummage through the wreckage and look for your dignity.
U Mad, Bro?