Earlier today, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was announced for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, with no mention of Xbox One or PS4. Now, Gearbox and 2K are hardly the only companies slow to hop on the next-gen train; EA chose similar release platforms for EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup. But it's always a curious case anytime a developer chooses to stick to last-gen software, so Destructoid asked Gearbox President Randy Pitchford why the developer is opting to stay in last-gen for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
As we expected, it comes down to each system's user installed base. "It's more about the fact that we know that the biggest customer for [Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel] is a person who loves Borderlands, and 100% of those customers are on the platform that we're supporting," Pitchford told Destructoid. With Borderlands 2 having moved well over eight million copies across Xbox 360 and PS3, Pitchford pointed out "there's more people that bought Borderlands 2 than there are installed units of Xbox Ones and PlayStation 4s. Meanwhile, there's 150 million installed PlayStation 3s and Xbox360s."
"It's a tricky thing 'cause I'm a crazy hardcore gamer and I'm right on the cutting edge,' Pitchford added. "I have all the new stuff as soon as it comes out … we're all dying for new content, but we have to remember that our fans, the people that have supported us — they don't necessarily have the same kind of disposable income that we do and they're not as quick to adopt the new platforms. The idea of leaving any of those guys behind is just something that we couldn't feel good about."
Pitchford did acknowledge that it wouldn't be "impossible" for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel to release on Xbox One and PS4 alongside the last-gen system, but explained "it does take time and people."
"We decided to take the entire amount of people that could be dedicated to this game and actually make the game better with those people instead of spending time on technology, and it costs money to be on the new platforms. We're pretty certain of the people that have already gotten the new platforms, almost all of them have the earlier platforms," he said.
Looking at the screenshots and pre-alpha gameplay footage it doesn't look like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel would truly take advantage of the new systems' hardware, but I would think it's nice to get it out on as many platforms as possible. It looks like the benefits didn't outweight the potential costs of such a move though.