Borderlands may have had a ludicrous number of guns, but it was notably devoid of PC specific optimisations. Claptrap has already reached out to seductively apologise, and now Randy Pitchford has reinstated that Gearbox have a “renewed commitment” to the PC with Borderlands 2.
Speaking during a developer’s session at Rezzed, Pitchford stressed the prominence of the PC during development and shared some of what they’ve learnt from their mistakes with the first game:
“We develop on the PC, it’s how we make games. Even our development kits for console are plugged into PCs. However, we are developers and we take a lot of things for granted as most of us aren’t worried about dealing with our network configurations and things like that. So, we’ll do it and not worry about the consoles. But what we learned after shipping Borderlands 1, was customers who play on the PC expect better treatment within the game itself.”
“With both BL1 and BL2, the PC version is the best looking, highest fidelity version of the game, but what we’ve learned, is that the details are important to you on the PC and we made a strong effort to improve those details in the product.”
As a predominantly PC player myself, it is incredibly promising to hear that they recognise that it is the smaller elements that are crucial to creating a successful PC version of a game. Scrolling through menus, customising your FOV and rebinding keys are all features that were unfortunately missing from the original game, but this won’t be repeated in Borderlands 2 according to Claptrap’s letter.
As Pitchford went on to explain, it wasn’t just a few oversights that limited the PC version of the first in the franchise:
“It’s a miracle we did what we did with Borderlands 1 – it’s a big risk to build a new IP. We spent every dollar we had on that game, and while we had a nice budget, it still had us confined to being rational and responsible of what is expected to happen.”
“Fortunately BL1 was a tremendous success, millions and millions of units sold. We’re at 6 million units sold right now, and that is exciting for a new IP -its unprecedented really. That means, we were able to put the budget into BL2 that it deserves – a budget I wish we’d had for the first game – and as such we can up some of our priorities.”
I enjoyed the original despite its issues, and now that my main reservations about Borderlands 2 have been removed I can’t wait for the vault to open this September.