Borderlands is one of the largest franchises in gaming that already has entries spanning almost two decades. In 2009, they released their first entry but it was the sequel that catapulted it with both commercial and critical success. While the spin-off Tiny Tina Wonderlands has yet to be released, I have come across many references that lead me to say that Gearbox is already deep in production on the next installment of the Borderlands franchise. I have not found a reference to a title; for now, it can be referred to as Borderlands 4.
I’ve found multiple references to an unannounced game from Gearbox Studio Quebec with more than 1 of these creators having worked exclusively on past Borderlands entries in terms of artists, user interface designers, sound designers, including most importantly: game/level designers. These staff members all have extensive credits across all three of the main entries, numerous DLCs, and a few subtle mentions of this unannounced project. The fact they are working on this game is a given, but it’s the progression in development and some of the minor specifics that made me feel like this was worth a report.
Even during the Twitter announcement of the new studio back in August, they mention the opportunity to work on the Borderlands IP. CEO and Founder of Gearbox Randy Pitchford back in 2021 alluded in a tweet that something “big” was being worked on:
More: We are definitely working on some amazing stuff that, I hope, will surprise and delight you. Plug: if anyone out there has Skills-To-Pay-Bills and wants to get in on some Borderlands action, we're working on the big one 🙂 https://t.co/Pp5iTUBwAt https://t.co/ExjXEbU30R
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) May 6, 2021
Although he did not elaborate on what that meant, he may be hinting that this upcoming game will be made exclusively for next-gen consoles. In the past, Pitchford used similar wording (GameSpot) in regards to Borderlands 3 prior to release, so seeing the pattern gives me a reason to think he is talking about #4.
A call out for another Game Designer role is noteworthy to me because of the potential for what Borderlands 4 could be. Under Responsibilities it reads: “Design, implement, and tune base movement mechanics (walk, run, jump, etc.) as well as advanced traversal mechanics (slide, mantle, etc.) ensuring that the moment-to-moment feel of navigating the world is effortless, responsive, and fun.”
Now, as far as what we know on this new game is quite minimal. They’re clearly keeping the parts that are iconic to the series and revamping some others that were added in the third entry, namely Sliding and Mantling.
Another posting even lists the RPG growth systems (think: the Badass Ranks, loot, and character skill trees) that are integral to the series.
A Lead Mission Designer role directly asks for familiarity with the Borderlands franchise’s rich lore and its core mission mechanics as well as highlighting some of the key concepts: FPS, online, and co-op.
“Candidates should be intimately aware of the types of Borderlands-style missions Gearbox has shipped in recent titles and bring new ideas to the table about how to push interactive storytelling in an online, co-op game. They should be comfortable in Unreal Engine and understand the core concepts involved in FPS games, co-op, and online systems.”
I am thrilled that they are keeping co-op important as the number of titles offering co-operative gameplay seems to be waning. I hope to see a formal announcement of this title soon with the premise of next-gen load times, draw distances, and overall improved engine performance.
Regarding the Borderlands Film (expected 2022)
While Quebec and Frisco stay busy on this exciting new title, the Gearbox executives are equally double-occupied as they are also working on the production of a Borderlands film.
Current castings are:
- Cate Blanchett as Lilith
- Kevin Hart as Roland
- Jack Black as Claptrap
- Jamie Lee Curtis as Dr. Patricia Tannis
- Ariana Greenblatt as Tiny Tina
- Florian Munteanu as Krieg
- Haley Bennett
- Édgar Ramírez as Atlas
- Olivier Richters as Krom
- Janina Gavankar as Commander Knoxx
- Gina Gershon as Mad Moxxi
- Cheyenne Jackson as Jakobs
- Charles Babalola as Hammerlock
- Benjamin Byron Davis as Marcus
- Steven Boyer as Scooter
- Ryann Redmond as Ellie
- Bobby Lee as Larry
With the premise: Lilith, an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas. Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland, a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina, a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg, Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis, the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap, a persistently wiseass robot.
These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other. (Source: IMDb)
While Haley Bennett’s role remains undisclosed I’d wager she plays the missing girl role that could be loosely based on the Guardian Angel character (she was one of the six Sirens – women with immense magical powers). Angel had an unfortunate betraying reveal in Borderlands 2 as the captive daughter of the story’s villain Handsome Jack. I do hope they somehow work a twist like that into the plot of the movie, and I’m so happy with the selection of Jack Black as the annoying robot CL4P-TR4P aka Claptrap!
Are you excited to return to Pandora and open another vault? And will you be watching Borderlands when it arrives in theaters? Let us know in our Twitter replies!