Gearbox has confirmed an Axios report that seven top developers on Borderlands 3 have left the company to form a new studio. Details on the new venture haven't been revealed but Randy Pitchford, founder of Gearbox Entertainment, said their departure will have no impact on the development of the studio's current project, Tiny Tina's Wonderland.
"This small group is great and talented and we are so thankful for their contributions, creativity, and leadership," Pitchford said. "They depart Gearbox on the best of terms and we wish them well on their new venture. I am excited about their prospects and am eager to see where their effort takes them. I'm also hopeful that our strong, mutually respectful relationship will lead to a lasting partnership in a new form."
The Gearbox statement doesn't name the developers who have moved on, but according to Axios the list includes Borderlands 3 creative director Paul Sage, senior producer Christopher Brock, lead mission designer Keith Schuler, art director Scott Kester, UX director Chris Strasz, and lead character artist Kevin Penrod. That's a lot of talent and experience to lose, especially all at once, but Pitchford downplayed the actual impact of their departure.
"Before their transition, the group was part of a not-yet-announced pre-production team and their departure will cause minimal disruption in our current plans," he said. "If there was going to be a move, this is the best possible time for that."
Pitchford described that new project as "only a small part of the transformation that is currently underway at Gearbox," involving projects built around both existing and new properties. He emphasized, however, that "the bulk of our attention at the moment is dedicated to finishing Wonderlands," which he said is on track to meet its early 2022 release target.