Gearbox isn’t having a good day. Their latest game, Aliens: Colonial Marines has chest-bursted into a flamethrower of bad reviews and hate, leaving that game in some bad waters. While they hit it big last year with a Borderlands sequel, Gearbox aslo has another game on the way. A spin-off of the long-running Brothers in Arms franchise, Furious 4 is scheduled for release later this year. It’s a game which has seen some drastic changes made to the formula of that revered series, much to the despair of some long-time fans. But don’t fret, because a more “authentic” Brother in Arms game is on the way. Eventually.
Speaking to IGN, Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford mentioned that his development studio was looking to capture their love for those classic games, and bring them to life as a full-fledged entry into that series of games. “There will be an authentic Brothers in Arms game,” Pitchford said. “We haven’t announced that yet, but I’m really excited about where that’s going too. We’ll announce these things in due course. There’s a lot of neat things we have going on.”
It’s still early days for the future game though, with Pitchford mentioning that it could be up to five years before we see anything solid emerge;
That’s why I don’t announce things until we know what they are. It’s not fair to hold us accountable for a process that’s designed to get to a quality end that’s good for the customer. We love Brothers in Arms and we’re committed to more time in that space. As we get to places where it makes sense to announce things in that regard, we’ll do that, too.
As for that other Brother in Arms game, Furious 4, it’s dropping the name-brand moniker before final release and becoming a brand new IP. “Most people will not recognize it as ever having anything to do with Brothers in Arms. If you’ve seen the Furious 4 demo or you go back and watch that stuff, you’ll notice the DNA. You can feel the DNA, because it’s an iterative, continuous development process,” Pitchford said.
But it’s a process that decided to unhinge itself from Brothers in Arms and go where it needed to go. Furious 4 is evolving into something else. At some point we’ll announce what that thing is. It’ll feel like an entirely new thing. It’s going to be at that moment that it’ll feel like the starting point.
Which leaves Gearbox in a tricky situation, as Ubisoft has opted out of publishing the Furious 4 game and a future Brother in Arms title. “Ubi will not publish the new brand. We haven’t signed the next Brothers in Arms game with anyone yet,” Pitchford said. “Ubisoft’s a great publisher. They’ve been a great partner for Brothers in Arms for many years.”
It’s not easy being Gearbox lately then. As mentioned above, Aliens: Colonial Marines is getting savaged by the critics, while Ubisoft is clearly not interested in releasing whatever it is that Furious 4 has become. Pitchford isn’t tasting sour grapes from the whole experience though. “Gearbox and Ubisoft have had a great relationship, but that’s tough, to go through that tension” Pitchford said.
They were expecting something that didn’t happen the way it did, but we need to do what we need to do. Everybody’s going to deal with that.
Hey, at least they’ve still got Borderlands, right?