Gearbox Software, the developer of Borderlands, has confirmed that a sequel is currently in development. A press release on Borderland 2‘s official site states it will feature new skills, classes, characters, weapons, equipment, and enemies. While no exact release date has been set yet, the press release stated that the game will be released during Take-Two’s 2013 fiscal year — which starts on April 1, 2012 — on the PS3, 360, and PC.
However, the announcement of this news has caused some stir. When Eurogamer first broke the news, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford responded by calling the reveal “shoddy journalism” on his Twitter account.
Analysis: I only just bought Borderlands when the bundle was on sale for $15 on PSN for PS+ users, so I haven’t had the chance to get very far in it. However, I can say I’m glad it’s getting a sequel, though I hope they add in a trade system and fix up the way loot is managed.
The whole controversy about the way the confirmation of Borderlands 2 came out demonstrates an ongoing issue in games journalism: how information is controlled by companies and their reaction when they lose that control. On the one hand, I can kind of understand why 2K Games and Gearbox would be miffed at the thunder being taken out of their big official announcement. I could also even understand other journalists taking exception to someone who breaks the NDA they’re held to. On the other hand, I can’t agree with the idea that reporting a story that’s factual is “shoddy journalism,” even if it’s reported before the company planned for it to. Like how Infinity Ward reacted to details of Modern Warfare 3 being leaked, by claiming only some parts of the leak were accurate, Pitchford told Eurogamer that “If we haven’t announced it, it doesn’t exist”. It’s all a way to undermine anyone who reports a story before they’re “permitted” to, even if the story is 100% true. Considering that Game Informer was given exclusive coverage, it’s clear that the plan was for the big reveal to take place when that issue dropped.
Ars Tehnica’s Ben Kuchera was spot-on in his observation that reporting something before you’re supposed to makes you a target. Sadly, there’s likely not much that can be done to fix it since, even if one outlet takes a stand against NDAs like this, a lot of others will fall in line for those juicy tidbits and exclusives. That’s what’s shoddy.