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    Gearbox Software LLC

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    Gearbox is a company best known for their early work on the Half-Life series, WWII video game series Brothers in Arms, Borderlands and Duke Nukem Forever.

    Do you still trust Gearbox?

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    SpaceInsomniac

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    Poll Do you still trust Gearbox? (430 votes)

    Yes I do, and I don't think people have been fair to them 4%
    Yes, but only when it comes to Borderlands 12%
    Yes, but only when it comes to games that they developed themselves 10%
    I'm not sure anymore 18%
    No, I would say they've been misleading 32%
    No, and I consider them to be liars 24%

    So consumer advocate extraordinaire Jim Sterling just released yet another video regarding the Aliens vs Colonial Marines situation.

    He certainly makes some strong points against Gearbox, and I agree that the company has handled the whole lawsuit issue horribly. The defense of Duke Nukem Forever and their Aliens title has been positively shameful, IMO.

    On the other hand, they did recently release the Handsome Collection in a fairly broken state when it comes to frame-rate, but they actually went back and fixed that game. The season pass for Borderlands 2 was also some of the best DLC I've ever played--especially the last add-on--so that really wasn't a "take the money and run" type deal either.

    But what do you think? Do you still trust Gearbox? Have their comments on their lawsuit hurt your opinion of the company, or do you agree with how they've been defending themselves?

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    Kidavenger

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    This is old news...

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    mike

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    #2  Edited By mike

    I don't "trust" developers. I take each game on it's own merits and never preorder.

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    deactivated-6050ef4074a17

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    I've been pretty cool toward Pitchford ever since Duke Nukem: Forever. What upsets me more than anything else is the way that this site and other big gaming sites tend to treat him with a "Oh, that lovable little scamp!" attitude whenever he says or does something stupid or sketchy rather than how it deserves to be responded to. Jim Sterling has been great with this, and it's almost certainly his independent position that enables his fearlessness.

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    bacongames

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    Are we only talking about this because Jim Sterling decided to make a video? This discussion has already come and gone.

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    hatking

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    Trust doesn't really enter the equation for me. I've never been much of a fan of their games. The first Borderlands is the only one of theirs that I remember mostly fondly, and that's with some pretty prominent caveats. That said, I don't really consider the morality of a developer when playing their games. The artwork speaks for itself, as far as I'm concerned. Though, I don't blame people who want to shy away from creators with questionable habits, just don't try to tell me something is bad because a bad person made it.

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    joshwent

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    @mb said:

    I don't "trust" developers. I take each game on it's own merits and never preorder.

    Yup.

    These concepts always baffle me a bit when they're discussed on a site that exists specifically to tell us about the quality of new games. I (like most others) thought Colonial Marines looked awesome from the demo and trailers. Then I read reviews, watched the QL, and clearly saw that the game in my eager imagination was not the game they released... so I never bought it.

    It's pretty damn simple. No "trust" necessary. Just don't buy a thing if you know nothing about it.

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    Evilsbane

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    Homeworld Remastered still has completely broken ship formations in HW1 and it makes the combat a mess, ships just fly around with no direction as soon as they are told to attack. I fired up the original which is included with the collection and it is a game changer, it looks great but having the core gameplay damaged in such a fundamental way really sucks I thought this would be the project for me to point to for their defense but it just sucks that they got so close to nailing that collection and just left a core part of HW1 completely broken, the formations button is still there and they assume formation but the moment they attack its gone.

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    FinalDasa

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    #8 FinalDasa  Moderator

    You should never trust any unreleased piece of software until it's released and reviewed. Don't buy into demos which are, essentially, marketing material and what the developers hope the game will be.

    Don't preorder. Hope games will be good but don't assume they will be good. Read reviews.

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    Yummylee

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    Randy Pitchford seems sketchy, but besides that... I still really enjoy Borderlands and wouldn't be opposed to another.

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    SpaceInsomniac

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    #10  Edited By SpaceInsomniac

    @kidavenger said:

    This is old news...

    The newer part is the lawsuit comments that reignited this whole conversation:

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2015-07-09-we-seem-to-like-making-completely-new-things

    Q: Now that Gearbox has been dropped from the civil suit regarding Aliens :Colonial Marines, do you feel fully vindicated? Do tensions with SEGA remain?

    Randy Pitchford: That whole thing was a huge waste of time. The market proved it was doing its job perfectly. The market is dispassionate - rewarding what it likes and punishing what it doesn't. There is an objectivity and fairness in the open market's harsh, firm justice.

    For every place the market succeeded, the legal system failed as it was being manipulated by what appeared to me to be essentially mafia style extortion tactics. Sadly, the manipulation would have actually worked, as it had in other cases with those same guys and to the detriment of the industry and gamers and actual, you know, justice. But those guys made a mistake in naming us as defendants because we stood up to them That's all it took - someone to stand up to them. And so they lost since they didn't have a legitimate case.

    @joshwent said:

    @mb said:

    I don't "trust" developers. I take each game on it's own merits and never preorder.

    Yup.

    These concepts always baffle me a bit when they're discussed on a site that exists specifically to tell us about the quality of new games. I (like most others) thought Colonial Marines looked awesome from the demo and trailers. Then I read reviews, watched the QL, and clearly saw that the game in my eager imagination was not the game they released... so I never bought it.

    It's pretty damn simple. No "trust" necessary. Just don't buy a thing if you know nothing about it.

    But trust doesn't just have to do with pre-orders. You could go through your whole life without pre-ordering a game, and still have companies that you trust more than others. It can be as simple as "should I be looking forward to this game based on this preview, or is all of this probably bullshit?"

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    vampire_chibi

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    Forget gearbox, i want to know why this guy is holding a giant dildo.

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    deactivated-601df795ee52f

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    To be blunt, I really don't care about anything they do.

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    spraynardtatum

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    I think what they did with Colonial Marines promotion was undoubtedly the wrong thing to do and the wrong way to treat their customers. It can't feel good being on their side of the exchange either though. They tried to pull the wool over peoples eyes and got caught and are now solely responsible for the distrust that such decisions create. They're living with that hanging over their heads forever. I hope they can learn from it and approach their job with more dignity from here on out.

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    TheHT

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    It's not trust trust, but they've still got some credit with me. Battleborn just looks okay, but I'll probably give it a shot, and I'm excited for a new proper Borderlands. Obviously I'm not gonna jump in sight unseen to any game, at least not without an understanding that I could very well get burned. Caveat emptor and all that. But I don't expect their games to be shit or think they're horrible people or whatever.

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    hippie_genocide

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    @mb said:

    I don't "trust" developers. I take each game on it's own merits and never preorder.

    I think "trust" is the wrong word to use in this context, but I get what you're saying. There are definitely developers that I give the benefit of the doubt to and ones that have to show me something first.

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    joshwent

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    But trust doesn't just have to do with pre-orders. You could go through your whole life without pre-ordering a game, and still have companies that you trust more than others. It can be as simple as "should I be looking forward to this game based on this preview, or is all of this probably bullshit?"

    Sure. I mention it mainly in context of Sterling talking about that lawsuit and the idea that fans were mislead by the (certainly misleading) advertizing.

    But to me "trust" is a concrete word. There's a finality to it. It scares me in this discussion, because my mind immediately goes to the relentless fanboyism of some folks defending obviously shitty things because it was made by a company/person they "trust". There are lots of devs (Oblivion, Bethesda, ACE Team, etc.) that I feel pretty confident in making something good that I'll like, but that's a pretty different thing, and it's flexible. If I'm climbing a mountain with a team, I wouldn't want to "feel pretty confident" that the person above me is tying the knots correctly, I'd need to "trust" them.

    "Trust" specifically feels a lot like "faith", to me. As in, a state of knowing not based on evidence. Which is why bringing up pre-orders seems appropriate. Many gamers trust their favorite devs to the point where seeing the quality of their games before they're bought doesn't seem relevant to them.

    Really though. This is a messy semantic argument and I'm mostly just describing what these words mean to me. Still, it's always good for us individually to recognize how our potential emotional attachment to a dev might inform our reaction to their games.

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    Maluvin

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    I've enjoyed some games that Gearbox has put out over the years but in terms of trustworthiness I'm very much on guard against anything Randy Pitchford says. Can't tell if he's straight up deceptive or just overhypes things while overlooking problems.

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    ShaggE

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    Trust? No. I don't trust any salesman on their word, whether I like them or not. That's how you end up with yard sales full of Shake Weights and GameStops full of $1.00 used copies of Duke Nukem Forever.

    Speaking of Duke Nukem Forever, they do have some remaining gratefulness from me for ending that long, national nightmare by polishing that thing up and finally just putting it out. It's not really their fault that the game was bad, and I can't blame them for telling us it would be good. Of course they're going to tell us that, that's how marketing works.

    As for Colonial Marines, yeah, that was kinda bullshit. But I got a bit of fun out of that game, so... meh.

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    Oldirtybearon

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    I trust Bethesda. I trust CDPR. I trust both of those studios enough to buy what they put out sight unseen.

    Whatever the opposite of that is, is how I feel about Gearbox.

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    etpc

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    Randy Pitchford is a used car salesman. I don't trust him or Gearbox since A:CM at all. DNF is a different story because everything about that game is 100% the fault of George Broussard, who is even more incompetent. They just wanted that shit out the door. But A:CM was all Pitchford. Ergo, fuck 'em.

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    pcorb

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    natedawg_kz

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    They've made more bad games than good, the last one being the first Borderlands in my opinion anyway. You shouldn't really "trust" developers and just take each game as it comes but yeah Colonial Marines was the definition of a shit show and surely they've lost a lot of respect from it.

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    ripelivejam

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    This company is the target of such overblown ire, even when compared to the shadier things they've done (mainly the whole A:CM thing) that i can't help but vote contrarian. I've had quite a good deal of fun with everything Borderlands.

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    Oldirtybearon

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    @pcorb: That's probably the right word, but it doesn't seem strong enough.

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    JRM

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    #27  Edited By JRM

    I trust my immediate family, I trust close friends, I have absolutely zero trust in any game developer. They are businesses tasked with making money above all else.

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    MezZa

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    If they start talking Borderlands 3 then I'll start paying attention to them again. I don't really care for anything they're making or have made recently. Not because of quality, but just because of disinterest. If they screw up Borderlands 3, I'll just take my fond memories of Borderlands 1 and show myself out the Gearbox door.

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    matatat

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    I don't think Gearbox makes very good games. Borderlands is kinda neat in concept, but mechanically I think it's kinda garbage. Doesn't feel very good, not a whole lot of interesting stuff going on, the guns are absurd and meant to be so but they usually just aren't effective. The only reason I even beat the second one was because I played through entirely with a cowoker in coop.

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    Ezekiel

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    #30  Edited By Ezekiel

    I only played Borderlands 2 and only for three hours. The game doesn't motivate me.

    I'm boycotting Gearbox until Alien: Isolation gets a sequel. They might have doomed that IP with their neglect and misappropriation of Sega's funds. Colonial Marines actually had a more successful launch than Isolation.

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    OurSin_360

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    #31  Edited By OurSin_360

    I trust them as much as i trust any corporation, that is not at all. I felt borderlands was an ok game, never got to into the sequel and nothing else they made caught my interest.

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    ZolRoyce

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    @jrm said:

    I trust my immediate family, I trust close friends, I have absolutely zero trust in any game developer. They are businesses tasked with making money above all else.

    Although that is true, I think there is varying degrees that businesses take that, at the very least to me, informs me if they are trust worthy or not. A company can approach making money by deceit and stepping on peoples throats and general shitty practices (EA) whereas another company could be the type that is generally honest and support to their employees (Double Fine)

    So in my mind anyways one company can have more trust over another company by not approaching their business like absolute shit heads despite both having the same goal of making money off of their products.




    That being said I agree with @maluvin, I've enjoyed some of their games, but Randy is either too full of shit or too naive to really trust. Plus it seems to me anyways that Borderlands is on fast track to become another COD or Assassins Creed where they just make another and ship it out and it gets stale and repetitive.

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    Ares42

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    I think people just forget what Gearbox is. Gearbox isn't some studio with a long history of making spectacular games. They've had one successful franchise, that's it. For as much as I love Borderlands I would never have high expectations for anything else they make.

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    BabyChooChoo

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    Not that Jim doesn't make any good points or that this isn't a discussion worth having, but all I really get out of that video is the exact same shit that I've long since gotten tired of and that's this fucking weird "LET'S ALWAYS BE ANGRY ARRRRRGGHHHHH" mentality that's, sadly, so prevalent in the gaming community these days.

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    Ryuku_Ryosake

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    My opinion on Gear Box has always been pretty bad. I just built my first gaming pc around when the first Borderlands came out. In multiple interviews Pitchford talked about how PC was a lead platform and it was going to be the best version of the game. What it turned out to be was one of the worst console ports I have seen and the multiplayer was run through Game Spy. If it wasn't for Fallout 3 my idea of pc gaming would have been completely soured for a while.

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    ripelivejam

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    @babychoochoo: yeah i kinda appreciate these cause it at least puts the supposedly cynical bombcrew in a better light and make them seem more fair. Shame cause jim seems like he can be a smart, reasonable guy when he wants to.

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    WrinklyDinosaur

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    @vampire_chibi: I was so completely thrown off by the unnecessary dildo... It was a well put together video that seemed like a stupid bit of fanboy blasting at the start and end.

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    newmoneytrash

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    I've NEVER trusted gearbox

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    SpaceInsomniac

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    Forget gearbox, i want to know why this guy is holding a giant dildo.

    A giant what? That's a sword. Get your mind out of the gutter.

    Seriously though, I'm pretty sure he got that from the publisher of Saints Row. It's a weapon in that game.

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    Legion_

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    Where's my "I don't care, take it easy, chill, it's fucking Gearbox, a mediocre developer" option?

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    Zefpunk

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    Fuck 'em. Add them to the pile of developers/publishers I refuse to give any of my money to, along with Ubisoft and Warner Brothers.

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    rollingzeppelin

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    #42  Edited By rollingzeppelin

    What I'm wondering is why they went through all the effort to make all those animated videos about a fake game, wouldn't it have just been easier to make the actual game properly and show that off? Clearly they had the right concepts of what the game SHOULD have been.

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    ArbitraryWater

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    If we're using "trust" as a stand-in for "expectations of quality", then I've never trusted Gearbox to be able to consistently make good games. Borderlands is ok, but hardly earth-shattering. If we're using "trust" as a stand-in for "Do you think Randy Pitchford is a cool dude?" then no. He's one of those outspoken developers who can't back up his own words with anything other than bluster.

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    Metalisticpain

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    Lots of games have a whole team dedicated to building a demo. As in its a separate product using similar assets (In most cases... not this one, they made better assets).

    I would prefer just seeing the game in Alpha rather than a separate 'demo' product. But thats not how publishers and studios work. Can't let you see a wart after all....

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    President_Barackbar

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    I wasn't really sure if Randy Pitchford was just a Peter Molyneux-esque figure that was blind to reality of if he was a liar, and then I saw this article from 2009 where he fabricated an entire story about how they came up with the name for Gerabox. Ergo, liar.

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    Lazyaza

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    I stopped after DNF. So Colonial Marines being what it was never surprised me though I was shocked at just how much of a giant flaming bag of lies it really was.

    Its weird I had a tonne of fun with Borderlands and Borderlands 2 but they certainly over-sold and over hyped them too. I think that's just Gearbox's thing is they try to get away with as much bs as possible and like Jim so wonderfully stated now that we live in a post steam refunds world I wonder just how much they'll think they can get away with in the future. As more and more games continue to disappoint or have misleading marketing people are becoming more jaded and cynical and assuming the worst. So if devs n publishers want to keep making money I would hope a little more transparency and smarter use of time and budget would be put in place.

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    Shindig

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    Not that Jim doesn't make any good points or that this isn't a discussion worth having, but all I really get out of that video is the exact same shit that I've long since gotten tired of and that's this fucking weird "LET'S ALWAYS BE ANGRY ARRRRRGGHHHHH" mentality that's, sadly, so prevalent in the gaming community these days.

    Plus he wears sunglasses indoors. Only twats do that.

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    MachoFantastico

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    If your asking me if I'm excited for Borderlands 3, than yes I am.

    In regards to Jim, I'm not a fan at all of the angry Youtube guy who constantly gets worked up over everything. Its gotten old very quickly.

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    SpaceInsomniac

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    #49  Edited By SpaceInsomniac

    @president_barackbar said:

    I wasn't really sure if Randy Pitchford was just a Peter Molyneux-esque figure that was blind to reality of if he was a liar, and then I saw this article from 2009 where he fabricated an entire story about how they came up with the name for Gerabox. Ergo, liar.

    Wow! For those who might not click the link:

    Randy Pitchford: *I'm paraphrasing* "I played poker with Gabe from Valve before either of our companies had a name, we both came up with Gearbox, and I won the right to use it by beating Gabe in a poker game. They had to settle for the Valve, and could no longer use the amazingly cool Gearbox name, which Gabe and I agreed is the most perfectest name for anything in the history of ever. Also, Gabe isn't very good at poker, and I'm way better."

    Update: Valve has informed us that Randy and Gabe didn't meet until after Valve had shipped Half-Life, making Randy's story seem ... well, unlikely. We're trying to find out what happened right now.

    Update 2: Well, we just heard from PR and they confirmed that the story is a fabrication. Pitchford is apparently going to get in contact to explain what happened. We can't wait to find out his excuse for taking advantage of our Pollyanna-esque faith in the inherent goodness of people, and, by extension, telling tall tales to you, the people who are buying his games.

    https://archive.is/5SzSp

    The story in question originally ran on Joystiq, which presented a lengthy e-mailed anecdote from Pitchford that purportedly answered the question of how Gearbox got its name. The story of riverboat gambling was extraordinary, and one I mistakenly took as true.

    Pitchford told me today that his intent was to entertain, not mislead. I regret not trying to confirm the story with Valve before publication.

    Over Twitter, he wrote: "Enjoy the Tall Tale about the Gearbox name? Read it on Joystiq and give them love! Kotaku too :)

    Pathetic.

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    MEATBALL

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    #50  Edited By MEATBALL

    Meh, I never really got on the hate train - though I can understand why people did. Sometimes games don't deliver on expectations and come out looking vastly different to E3 (or other event) demos, sometimes that's okay and the game is still great, other times it's bad and the game is awful, that's just kind of how it goes? Maybe I'd feel more burned if I'd been interested in Colonial Marines and had bought it. I don't particularly trust them when it comes to games they're not developing themselves. If Gearbox make a game I'm interested in I'll likely give it a shot, I loved Borderlands/Borderlands 2.

    Randy Pitchford has kind of always been a charming dude full of shit, I don't particularly trust anything he says, but I still kind of like him? :P

    On another note, let's save the word broken for when games are broken. The Borderlands Handsome Collection had a disappointing framerate (particularly considering the hope with these ports is always 1080p, 60fps) but the games were still perfectly playable and a pretty damn good package, depending on how much you wanted those Borderlands games on the new systems. ;P That's not "somewhat broken", it's just a disappointing framerate. To their credit they have also supported that release and improved things. All of this is still a perfectly fine reason to remain skeptical about the launch of Gearbox Software games, I'm just not big on the use of the word broken in that specific example.

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