Ars Technica Puts Gearbox Software On Deathwatch
(Last Updated On: December 30, 2016)

Now here’s some news a lot of #Gamergate people were probably excited to see since 2014, and a bunch of Aliens: Colonial Marines owners have been waiting to see since 2013. Ars Technica has put together a list of companies that they believe are on deathwatch for 2017. The list is a who’s who of former tech giants who are now scooting by on the capitalist railway with a broken, two-wheeled tricycle. One of those companies happens to be developer and publisher, Gearbox Software.

Blues spotted the deathwatch article from Ars Technica, who had such high-profile companies such as Yahoo, Twitter and HTC on the list for tech giants on suicide watch for 2017. Gearbox managed to make the cut for a couple of different reasons. They state in the article…

“Given the flat-lined response to Battleborn, Gearbox needed a good product to follow it up. Instead, the company pushed out two lackluster remasters. The first, a 20th anniversary edition of Duke Nukem 3D, may not have cracked the 50,000 unit-sales mark since launching in October on consoles and PC (this conservative estimate relies on a SteamSpy estimate of 10,000 sales on PC, so its total sales could be even lower). That will be followed in January with a remaster of the 2011 shooter Bulletstorm—to be sold at a crazy-high price point of $60 with very little in the way of new content.”

I think before we dive into the failures Gearbox pumped out in 2016 as if they were attempting to mimic their revenue intake on a career resuscitation manifesto written by Pauly Shore, let me slam on the brakes, put that deathwatch train in park, and shift into reverse a bit.

Gearbox Software’s deathwatch actually started when president Randy Pitchford decided to dodge responsibility in 2013 for Aliens: Colonial Marines like a corporate PR incarnation of Barry Sanders. The game was dreck, but Pitchford wouldn’t own up to it. Gearbox later patched up the PC and console versions but took a very mulish approach to admitting that they screwed the pooch to begin with, pretended as if no one saw the messy condom they left on the floor.

This brazenly egotistical attitude from Pitchford and crew carried over into the release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which had a launch that was basked in controversy due to #GamerGate and the revelation that there were journalists giving favors to their friends working at Gearbox, as admitted to by former Gearbox writer Anthony Burch, whose life has become so depressing that it’s a meme on the chans.

Pitchford’s response to the outing of corruption between Gearbox and game journalists was to brush it off and claim that #GamerGate individuals cost them more than what his time was worth. #GamerGate took Pitchford to task over the ethical lapses so much so that he lashed out at PAX West 2016 in a video that is now historically cringe-worthy. You can view it below, courtesy of Ian Miles Cheong.

Those incidents — combined with the poor showing of Duke Nukem: Forever years prior — followed Pitchford on his back like those boogeyman Russian hackers following Hillary Clinton around like the ghosts of Christmas eve. Of course, in Hillary’s case, if Russians really were hounding her down online like dogs chasing a steak, the best way to make a Russian leave you alone is to offer them work… especially if it’s a job at the Clinton Foundation in Haiti.

Coupling the #GamerGate incident with the over-bearing indulgence of Social Justice Warrior topics in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, married with the piss-poor showing of Battleborn, and followed by disinterest in remasters like Duke Nukem 3D, all helped put Gearbox Software on the chopping block for Ars Technica’s 2017 Deathwatch.

Now if Gearbox was really into the whole SJW thing, they should have taken a page out of Blizzard’s book, sexed up a few of their female characters and then dropped a bomb that one of them is a legitimate cherry licker; their characters already look like it anyway. Heck, they could have scored some diversity points, managed to get trending on porn directories, and even make a few of their characters memorable, just like Blizzard did with Overwatch. Then again, maybe they’re gearing up to do just that with Borderlands 3?

Anyway, Ars doesn’t have a lot of confidence in Gearbox Software for 2017, especially with the overpriced Bulletstorm remaster due for release in April. However, maybe they’ll manage to get Borderlands 3 up and out faster than most people expect. Maybe with a little help from the ghosts of Timegate Studios, Demiurge Studios and Nerve Software, they can win back some trust and make some quick bank in 2017… I mean, it worked before… right?

Heck, even if that subpar plan doesn’t pan out for Borderlands 3, at the very least Randy Pitchford can rest easy knowing he isn’t Anthony Burch.

About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Dinglederp

    That last sentence made this article for me, good shit Billy D.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    I can think of nothing better to post than this https://youtu.be/IBN7dKjx8CE

  • This is great news. The death of gearbox will be a great victory for gamers.

  • durka durka

    Those writers you talking about have left gearbox a long time ago.

    • ItEotWaWKI

      *Hangs “Mission Accomplished” banner on the USS GamerGate*

  • durka durka

    Well, they made opposing force and it was good, then they made blueshift and stopped.

    Then they said, hey lets make a reallistic ww2 game, apparently reallistic means not been able to tell if you hit an enemy or missed, yet if you do hit an enemy, nothing happens you have to do it over and over again until the enemy dies, which means automatic weapons and close quarters are always best. After all the feature of the game was flanking. Then they made the third game which was meh.

    Then they made borderlands and it became a hit, so they made a bazillion dlc, a sequel with bazillion dlc and a pre sequel that closed down the “progressive” studio in Australia. Then you got colonial marines that can be summed up as WHYYYYYYYY? But alteast they patched it. Why could they not make colonial marines like the old fps they used to make? Still no health regen and being able to carry all weapons is nice. Ofcourse you got duke nukem forever which can be summed up as…here is what we picked up from 3d realms. They made a dlc, that dlc can be summed up as , well there is a mission that you collect dildos among other things for prostitutes. So when Randy Pitchford said he is not sexist, he owns duke nukem, my response was…..HAVE YOU PLAYED DUKE NUKEM FOREVER?

    Oh wait i have to say something about battleborn…well i never played it.

  • LinKurosawa

    Good riddance to pandering assholes.

  • MusouTensei

    That would make 2017 already better than 2016.

  • Alistair

    There was nothing wrong with duke Nuke, it did all the things regression left hated.

    Naked tited girls getting kilked horrible.

    The remaster one was a missed opportunity, they could revamp the game with amazing graphics.

    Then randy did the SJW route hey I give you duke nuke that is very sexist towards his women. But you gamers are bigots etc etc. What a cop out.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    As long as Pitchford runs the show, it’s not surprising.

  • giygas

  • Seems to be more evidence that pandering to SJW/feminist tosspots is pretty much suicidal. I know that Yahoo is one of the companies that went full-blown progressivism with that “diversity” crap, and they were praised through the roof by mainstream media because of this and also because it’s CEO happens to have a vagina. Not sure about HTC though.

    Gearbox could possibly revive themselves if they just dumped the SJW
    crap. But I think they’ve been cucked so much now that it’s impossible
    for them to remove those strap-ons from their rectums.

    It’s yet another excellent article by Billy. Sure knows how to combine wit and humour by making it relevant, not overdoing it and keeping the seriousness of the issue at hand.

    • durka durka

      “Gearbox could possibly revive themselves if they just dumped the SJW
      crap. ”

      Doubtful they were never that good in the first place which is why they pandered to sjws.

  • Reaper of Salt

    Damn Billy, that article was BRUTAL. Especially dropping those truth bombs near the end, LOL. Seems like Anthony Cuckold Burch couldn’t go back to Gearbox even if he wanted to. Great write-up btw.

  • Dead Jester

    That’s too bad. Though I only say that because I like most of the Borderlands games. Hopefully a competent publisher and/or developer buys it up if Gearbox dies.

  • Hawk Hopper

    When Gearbox goes belly up, maybe Bethesda will snatch the rights to Duke Nukem and have it developed by id.

    • That would be a Duke game worth playing.

      • The thing about Duke, though, is that it was everything that Doom was but evolved. Lots of large multi-story levels with elements of verticality and some light destructibility. It was a really, really solid game (Duke 3D) that practically took everything id did and did it better. Coupling the top notch gameplay with the edgy 90’s themes (nudity, sexual content, overt violence) made Duke legendary.

        These days it would require id Software to basically piss on their own Doom (4) if they were to return the luster of Duke Nukem. I would prefer it if some young, hungry dev took up the IP and then repeated what 3D Realms did in 1996 by doing everything id did with Doom (4) but then elevating it to the next level, and then bringing back all the raunch, violence and B-movie appeal.

        • Hawk Hopper

          I think putting it in the hands of “young, hungry dev” would mean people who think arena based randomly generated roguelikes are somehow “old school”. The only new dev that seems to be really understand FPS games from the Doom, Duke 3D, and Quake era is the guy(s?) making DUSK.

        • durka durka

          The combat was not better, it was meh, enemies took alot of damage and were totally hitscan, to a point any enemy was not a hitscan enemy could be easily dodged. Also the level designers were assholes to the player with too many traps and master closets, the devs even admitted that in the re release of duke 3d commentary.

          id say quake 2 came out a year later and did everything better than doom.

          • id say quake 2 came out a year later and did everything better than doom.

            Nah, I purposefully didn’t mention Quake/2 because they were a lot slower than Doom. They were definitely fast for 3D FPS games back during that time, but they lacked the smoothness and finesse of the original Doom games. You could speedrun Duke Nukem 3D like a boss, but Quake had slightly floatier controls and the weapons weren’t quite as tight.

            Quake 2 was still a great game, though.

    • Striker The Hedgefox

      I’d like to see Interceptor/The new 3D Realms get the rights back (they had rights to Duke Nukem 3D and prior), they’re managing to show they’re quite capable developers with the recent release of Rad Rodgers, and even while Bombshell was mediocre at launch, they managed to turn it into a really game with post-release patches.