Borderlands Online Scrapped, 2K China Studio Shut

You probably haven’t heard of Borderlands Online [official site], because the spin-off from Gearbox’s FPS-RPG was only ever announced for China. You probably won’t hear from it again, as Take-Two Interactive have cancelled the game and closed 2K China, the studio making it. Two things to take away from this [please note, this isn’t intended to be any sort of ‘Take-Two’ pun]: yes, it probably would’ve been a F2P FPS you didn’t care about but huh, only learning about something after its death is weird; and dang, how many more studios will Take-Two close?

“We determined that the additional time required to finish current projects at the studio, particularly Borderlands Online, would not yield a favorable return on investment,” Take-Two told GamesIndustry.biz, confirming they were closing 2K China.

2K Australia (the other half of Irrational) is gone, 2K Marin isn’t much more than a name anymore as far as I’ve heard (though supposedly they’re now in charge of BioShock), Irrational is basically Ken Levine and a few quiet pals, 2K Czech lost one office, and… that’s a lot of development power they’ve lost. They have opened new studio Hangar 13 and the QA-focused 2K Vegas in that time, but still – the 2K of today can make far fewer games itself.

Financially, 2K say they’re doing well, recently reporting stronger-than-expected results for last year. Studios are only closed because it makes financial sense, after all. But won’t someone think of the video games? Those poor, dear, innocent lambs.

12 Comments

  1. IEatCereal says:

    LucasArts Mark II? Contact Dermatitis allergies acting up from all the extra wads of cash lying around perhaps

  2. ribby says:

    obligatory reminder that Tales from the Borderlands is great

  3. TomxJ says:

    What a colourful cast, I hope they make it too other games.

  4. Fnord73 says:

    How many of those offices have been cut free but are still functioning in the business? It seems like an intelligent solution to shed skin and restart elsewhere now and then. But did they get fired or where deals made?

  5. Premium User Badge

    Phasma Felis says:

    Have there been any good games from China? All the Chinese games I’ve ever heard of have been horrible F2P grindathon MMOs (Korean, too, for that matter, if you include horrible F2P grindathon FPSes), but surely that’s not the only thing they make.

    • tangoliber says:

      I think that the games industry may be discouraged by the piracy. In China, you don’t need any know-how to pirate games. When you buy your console or PC, the guy selling it to you will mod it or install whatever pirated games you want.
      So, that would leave F2P games and subscription based games as the only way to maintain control.

      On the other hand, somehow their movie industry does OK. I’m not really sure how…perhaps because many of them get government funding and thus are low risk investments? I don’t know. They mostly seem to combat piracy by selling legitimate DVDs at only slightly above the cost of pirated DVDs.

      A lot of development talent in China, but there may be a lack of learning resources in comparison to countries where an advanced understanding of English is more common.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        For movies they have a big box office, big enough Hollywood pays attention and puts local actors in scenes in big blockbusters that are cut for western audiences.

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        Hmm, that’s a good point about the piracy.

        I have pirated games myself, wholesale as a child (as one did) and as an adult when I’m unemployed or just want to try a game before buying, so I’m not much of an anti-piracy advocate, but I do get pretty skeptical when people insist that piracy is 100% a good thing and actually increases sales and only hurts bad people who deserved it anyway. That might be true if you have a culture that generally feels that you should pay for good software when you can; but China shows that that culture is not a given.

  6. Remmoth says:

    As someone who was laid off when 2K shutdown 2K Marin. I’m not surprised they’re still practicing the art of money over people

    • minijedimaster says:

      Or you know, the art of running a profitable business.

      • Remmoth says:

        I understand that layoffs are an unfortunate part of project-centered industries.

        Large publishers like these are so label-value oriented that they would shut a studio down and start-up a new one with a different name in the same office space. Moves like these are done to bring someone reputable on for a project who can hire their own team, and not inherit the responsibility of their over-hiring, and ‘bad’ child studio’s rep.

        Sure it’s about money, but they don’t have to be this irresponsible with people’s lives.

        • Remmoth says:

          clearly I’m talking about my personal experience with this label.