Randy Pitchford always says interesting things. That guys doesn’t know how to give a dull interview, and this one with Gamasutra is no exception. Why hasn’t anyone ripped off Borderlands yet, he asks? Why indeed. Particularly when so many have spent too much money trying to compete with other shooters.
“It’s kinda like Jerry Garcia,” he explained. “He said something like, “You don’t merely want to be the best at what you do. You want to be the only ones that do what you do.” If you’re the only ones that do something that people find as valuable? You don’t have to worry about competition. Like, Borderlands has zero competition. It doesn’t have to worry about that at all.
“I’m actually astonished that we’re about to launch a sequel and no one’s stole it from us. The formula’s right there. No one’s stolen it yet. That’s weird. We’re in an industry where people do nothing but steal from each other. That’s kind of interesting, isn’t it? Not that I want anyone to steal it, or I’m challenging people to steal it. When talking about Borderlands 1, it was really confusing, because on one hand we gotta scream from the highest mountain to get attention because it’s a new IP. On the other hand, it’s like, “Shit, we don’t want to tell people our secret because then they’re all gonna copy it because it’s so good.”"
Borderlands itself does a great job of borrowing certain mechanics, from Diablo mainly, but placing it into a shooter context, and giving it a unique art style and feel has sort of transformed the game into something completely unique. In a sense it’s a game that’s difficult to imitate. Randy claims that the formula’s right there, but I would imagine that most publishers would still see a Borderlands clone as a risk. It sold once, but can the same type of game sell in huge numbers again?
If Borderlands 2 is as big a success as the original, or bigger, then I’m sure you’ll start to see the clones roll right in!
The Guts of Gearbox [Gamasutra]