Gearbox revokes financial promises to its employees, much more

Daily Gaming Update

TGO After-Show

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How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here and welcome back to The Gaming Observer. It is Thursday, April 2nd, and we’ve got some interesting topics to discuss today, so let’s do that.

Gearbox rescinds promise for bonuses to employees after success of Borderlands 3

Gearbox Software is the developer of the incredibly successful Borderlands series, and what you might not know is that they run their company a little bit differently when it comes to paying their employees. Essentially, their pitch is that they provide below-average salaries compared to their competitors in the gaming industry, but they make up for it with profit sharing and huge bonuses. So the profit on every game they make is a 60/40 split between reinvesting in the company and its owners, and paying out quarterly bonuses to its employees. This has proven to be popular, and many employees have stuck around for it. When Borderlands 2 came out, some people made enough money to buy a house outright. Unfortunately, here is today’s headline. Gearbox has just informed their employees that they will not be receiving the amount of money they expected from Borderlands 3. There will some money, but nowhere close to the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars that were expected. CEO Randy Pitchford said that the game ended up costing more than expected, and also said that they if they weren’t happy with this, they were welcome to quit the company. This is in spite of the fact Borderlands has been cited by 2K as a billion dollar brand, and that Borderlands 3 was the best selling game in franchise history. Oh, and Pitchford also took a $12 million bonus when development on the game started, so, there’s also that. Many employees planned their financial futures on these promises by Gearbox, and a few have said that they expect an exodus from the company in the near future. I’m just gonna say it, game developers deserve better than this.

Rockstar to donate 5% of revenue for two months to coronavirus outbreak

In somewhat happier news, Rockstar has just promised to donate 5% of its revenue for the next two months towards coronovirus relief efforts. Both GTA and Red Dead Online will contribute towards it, which already is quite a hefty amount of money, let alone all the extra people playing it because of quarantine right now. As the article notes here, 5% may seem small, but those games make more money than you can even concieve of, so I’m sure it’ll be super helpful. Always love seeing stuff like this from the gaming industry, and there have been so many other relief funds that have been going on that I don’t talk about, so super happy for that.

Terraria sells 30 million units since launch

Terraria has now sold 30 million units since its release in 2011. Half of that belongs to PC gamers, mobile and console take a quarter each. The interesting point here is that momentum behind Terraria is still strong — 10 million of those copies were sold in the last 3 years. In any event, the final major update for the game is coming later this year, which means the company will be moving on to working on their second game, which apparently they haven’t even started yet. Very very cool for team to have gotten success, they are one of the best at keeping their game fresh and being involved in their community.

Valve working on getting Source 2 VR tools ready for launch to community

Hey, you know all of those games that became a thing because of Half-Life or Source Engine modding? You know, Counter-Strike, Gmod, that kind of thing. Well, Valve is working on enabling that once again but for virtual reality. It was supposed to release alongside Half-Life: Alyx, but apparently it is now the focus of the team to get it out the door. More specifically, it’s called the Hammer editor, and it is “a set of Source 2 tools for…enabling any player to build and contribute new environments for the community to enjoy.” So depending on how that works out, we may just see another renaissance under Valve, just for VR. I’m excited for it.

Hey folks before I end the show here, I just wanted to mention that I’ll be running the first ever Gaming Observer game night. We’re going to playing some family friendly Jackbox Party Pack. To participate, all you have to do is grab the link in the announcements channel on the Discord server, which you haven’t joined, you can find a link to on thegamingobserver.com. All you need is a microphone to talk, access to the internet to play, and some availability on either Saturday or Sunday.

Alright thank you so much for tuning in, and also a huge thank you to BrewerP85 for leaving me a 5-star review on Amazon. I’ll be back tomorrow with the news as I am every Monday through Friday, and until then…Happy Gaming everyone.