Why Hasn't Anyone Ripped Off Borderlands?

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]


    Does any other developer have the balls to clone a game as absurd as borderlands? Probably not! I picked up borderlands 2nd hand as a filler between tripple A titles. Instantly hooked, I loved the humor, the game play and the random loot! A game that doesn't take itself seriously at all and is hilarious in doing so.

    Borderlands 2 is gonna have a more solid plot but from watching gameplay trailers, I can tell i'm gonna enjoy this even more! CLAPTRAP!!

    How about not borderlands why haven't we got enough diablo styled loot systems ffs .... It can't be that hard.... The reason borderlands did so so well cause there is fuck all loot based games on console.

      Because as diablo 3 pointed out creating a decent loot system is apparently hard.

      All the fun from loot in D2 removed to provide more straight stat boosts like in wow :(

    Rage copied alot from borderlands.

      Except the fun aspect and loot aspect which made borderlands so good

      RAGE has a lot of similar setting elements to Borderlands but RAGE is very different in style, story and gameplay. Borderlands breaks from the standard shooter mould being one of the few unique titles and IPs in the huge drought we've had for the past 6+ years. RAGE however is more of the same, gameplay from the early history of shooters and poorly executed at that.

        They both had a similar setting to Fallout 3 but that doesn't make them all the same.

      SURE, rage came out after. BUT it was in development for a long time before borderlands. I think the two games are vastly different. people always pigeon-hole games together because they have a desolate/ post-apocalyptic theme.

      Yeah I was gonna say - Rage was like Borderlands without the humour, or soul, or fun.

    Dead Island had the loot. And replaced the guns with knives.

      It was pretty much an exact copy with zombies, crafting and melee weapons.

      That's pretty much why I loved it, even though the engine was kind of dodgy, the animations were choppy, and it was prone to bugs and modding it could potentially get your steam account closed.

    I dunno... i thought borderlands was crap... DONT HATE ME!

      It had no story to speak of and got boring/frustrating quickly in single player but the gameplay itself was fairly solid. Borderlands is a game best paid in co-op, it's pretty awesome to just tear up the wasteland killing stuff and looking for sweet guns when you've got friends with you.

      I hope Borderlands 2 actually has a story, but I guess it won't matter too much if it doesn't.

        Agreed. I picked the game up on Steam from the recommendation of so many people (thankfully before the AU price-hike) and got sick of it in an hour. Then a few months later I started playing it with a co-op buddy and it was suddenly awesome.

    Mark, I get the impression that you have a little man-crush on Mr. Pitchford . It's ok, it's completely natural.

    He's certainly one of my favourite video game industry "personalities" - he wears his heart on his sleeve and he's always got something interesting to say, whether it's an insight into the processes behind delivering something like Borderlands or Duke Nukem to market, or a personal revelation that leaves you wondering exactly how many other devs feel the same way.

    That depressing ending... (pre-DLC) turned me off of Borderlands. Build up to this vault and then... nothing.


      Yes exactly i hope to hell they have fixed the boss loot up hey haha

    i picked borderlands up cheap off steam and am hooked aswell. in the process of playing it through again in time for borderlands 2 :D the loot system is definetly a big positive. hopefully they implement an auto looting system in borderlands 2 for things like cash and ammo. travel among the game also gets a check for me. i cant stand running forever to get to places.
    Varierty with weapons, class specific abilities both recieve positives.
    co-op with the AI would be a nice feature to have aswell. running solo is good but not having to rely on others place to make the game more challenging sometimes gets annoying.
    i would have to agree that if borderlands 2 is a big success then we will stand to see some rip offs hit the market. i just hope this sequel isnt a flop some other games.

      I read in a press release that ammo and cash is auto pickup just by walking over the top of it. Takes away that little tedious aspect :)

      Maybe you're not up to it yet, but you do eventually get fast travel. Stick with it :P

        Mmm I love a good fast travel in the mornin'! Makes you feel alive!

        I think he meant he liked fast travel, as he said 'travel... also' after saying how he liked the looting system, though it does seem ambiguous :P

    I thought the same about Metroid Prime. The only game i've seen that used the same formula was Arkham Asylum.

      Technically when you boil it down, Metroid Prime is pretty much a 3D Zelda game in structure, so there's those and by extension Darksiders as well. But it's also a formula that hardly anyone clones despite how damned awesome that style of game can be when done well.

    The things I loved the most about Borderlands was that it felt like I was playing a game in 'The Gorrillaz' universe.

    I loved Borderlands, but the loot and skill trees could have been better. Dead Island is actually pretty similar, and I really like the way it handles crafting and upgrading weapons over simply picking up a higher level version of the gun you already love using. I would love to be able to loot weapon parts in order to assemble the ultimate gun that also has a skill tree and levels up with you. Still super amped for Borderlands 2

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