When Gearbox said it wasn't working on Borderlands 3, they weren't lying. Taking place in between the first and second game in the series, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is definitely not Borderlands 3. And Gearbox isn't really working on The Pre-Sequel, opting to partner with 2K Australia to do the heavy lifting.
"My own studio spends its attention towards new IP and working towards the next gen," Gearbox president Randy Pitchford reiterated when demoing the new game to us. Instead, a conversation started with 2K Australia "over a year ago" on making a new game for the current generation.
"We're pretty adapt at collaboration," 2K Australia general manager Tony Lawrence reminded us, pointing out their work on all of the BioShock games. Pitchford sees The Pre-Sequel as an opportunity for the support studio--much like "Opposing Force (a Half-Life mod) was a turning point for Gearbox."
The Pre-Sequel tells the story of the rise of Handsome Jack, the notorious villain of Borderlands 2. According to writer Anthony Birch, he started off as "relatively good guy." In fact, many of the characters will go through dramatic changes through the adventure. Taking a page from Breaking Bad and other recent antihero tales, "your characters may be more morally ambiguous" this time around.