A Puzzling Stance From Pitchford On Original Borderlands HD Release

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When it was announced last week that the Borderlands series was getting an updated HD release, it surprised a few of us out there that the original Borderlands wasn’t part of the package.

In this slow period of games at the onset of the new gen systems (can we still say it is the onset? the new consoles have been out over a year.), we have seen more than a few HD remasters of some well-received games. But imagine if Sony Santa Monica had said they were going to release a God Of War collection, without including the first. Or Naughty Dog releasing an Uncharted collection…without including the first. It would be bizarre.

Like this.

I realize I am slightly biased on this topic, as the original Borderlands is my favorite. I didn’t mind the lack of story, nor the lack of overt narrative. I liked that the humor was buried in the mission descriptions, or “quest” items. I liked that you filled in the blanks in your mind. I didn’t need endless meme jokes or a slicker interface. I liked it just the way it was.

Don’t get me wrong, I also quite liked Borderlands 2. Yes, I felt it tried too hard, but I still spent countless hours playing it.

The Pre-Sequel didn’t engage me the way either of the first two did. I found traversing the environments to be tedious. The butt-stomp was decent, but not enough to make that entry sing. Sure, the new element types were interesting, but it was the first Borderlands where I wasn’t even compelled to completely level up. I beat the game, and put it aside.

Now then, I had been keeping an eye on my Google alerts, as some hits had started popping up for Borderlands 3. Last weekend at PAX South, Gearbox had been teasing new information, which turned out to be not an announcement for Borderlands 3, but an announcement that they were now ready to begin Borderlands 3.

Anticlimactic.

During the panel, when Pitchford was asked about the exclusion of the original Borderlands from the Handsome Collection, he said, “If the Handsome Collection is wildly successful, that increases the chances that that investment can be made.”

Hmmm…

Last time I checked, the first Borderlands has sold over 4.5 million copies. I may not be a math wizard, but that seems fairly successful.

To pin the chance of the first being released only if the Handsome Collection is successful (and why wouldn’t it be?) seems odd. For people like myself that prefer the first, they may not buy the Handsome Collection at all due to its omission, whereas they certainly would have had it been included. That makes perfect sense to me.

The statement also feels like a challenge. Like Gearbox is saying, “Hey! All you fans who continue to support us! Prove how much you love this series (again), and maybe we will bring you what you want. Eventually.”

Does all this really matter? No. The series is still playable on last gen systems. An HD release would be lovely for two reasons. One: certain functionality would be smoother (pop-in textures, etc.). And two: it would be awfully sweet to play it on the systems where a lot of us now spend our time.

Despite my feelings, I will be picking up the Handsome Collection for sure, as I will always love going back to the Borderlands. But I can’t lie: if Gearbox deems the collection “successful” enough (and what exactly are those numbers?), I will be the first in line to pick up the original.

How do you feel about the situation? Do you want to see the original come to current gen? What do you think about Pitchford’s stipulation for releasing the first entry?

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