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Catching Up With Gearbox's Randy Pitchford
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Catching Up With Gearbox's Randy Pitchford

June 13, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 9 of 10 Next

You're talking about creativity and how you have a freedom to do the creativity you want to do as an independent studio. The industry is at this crossroads right now where we all agree that we'd like to get a little more creative, but we're not quite there yet. Do you feel that Gearbox is in the same place? I mean, you've done a very good and interesting World War II game.

RP: I did that, and I've done a few other things. I think that we're not even in the vicinity of being done. I think that's true of Gearbox and the whole industry. I mean, look. We're also trying to make relevant games. If I'm an entertainer, my mission is, "How many people can I reach, and to what extent are they gratified by what I offer them?"

So I can make an art film. I can make a game that five people play. But I'm not succeeding as an entertainer. In order to pass that test, I've got to spend some money, and if I'm going to spend money, I've got to make decisions where I can be sure that I'm not going to be spending more than I make, otherwise I won't get to do it again.

I don't disagree. I think it's naive to say, "Why aren't there more art games?" The answer to that is exactly right. This is a business, and this is the entertainment industry.

RP: I think there's great ways to do it, though, and I think you'll even see some examples of that from us. And there are always things that we bring to our games. There was a safer decision we could have made with Brothers in Arms, for example, and we took some risk there, because we wanted to try some things that hadn't been tried yet, with respect to squad combat and tactics, and we wanted to see if we could explore that.

Usually, when we think about the promise of a game, we pick some aspects of it that we can relatively count on, but we will also take some risks in places that we think are interesting. I think Borderlands, for example, has some exceptionally interesting and high-risk prospects and promises to it.

It's a shooter, but it's introducing some RPG elements, and half a million guns. How do you do that? The idea of having an environment with all that stuff in where it does feel like, "Wow, I can get better stuff and improve my character and get better guns and equipment and armor and skills."

That really hasn't been done yet in this genre. So we have to take some risks there and figure that out.

2K Games/Gearbox Software's Borderlands

It's not as safe as Call of Duty 4. It's not. Call of Duty 4 is fun and brilliant. And there's a few risks there. They gave us the AC-130 mission. We all watched the YouTube video and now we got to play it. That was cool. Good for them for doing that. They didn't have to do that. They'd probably make the same money, but they did it. So, good for them.

Those kinds of things are where they can safely go. Maybe we're a little riskier. Maybe we'll make a little less money, but we're still reaching lots of people, and we're doing all right.

Article Start Previous Page 9 of 10 Next

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