“We wanted to essentially hand back to Gearbox fully-fleshed out, heroic characters.”
Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands did an excellent job re-purposing Gearbox’s world and characters in an entirely new context. It turns out the developers behind the narrative adventure hoped (and still hope) that Gearbox might, in return, do the same with the characters they created.
In an excellent oral history of the series in the Campo Santo Quarterly, various members of the team behind the spin-off cover the fact that main characters Rhys and Fiona were designed to be reused in the main shooter series.
“The hope was,” explained producer Adam Sarasohn, “with Fiona, with Rhys, we wanted to essentially hand back to Gearbox fully-fleshed out, heroic characters that they could then use in Borderlands 3 and beyond.”
Fiona voice actress, Laura Bailey seems to have been one of the few who didn’t know this was the plan: “[I had] no idea. I would have been more nervous had I known it could lead to potential future games as well.”
With few exceptions, we loved the Tales from the Borderlands series, when it was released, and few Telltale games have hit its heights since. A major part of that stems from its core characters. Even after episode 1, we were writing: “I fell in love with my versions of these two characters, and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.”
Sadly, going by the developers’ words in the article, a second series seems unlikely. Despite critical success, writer Nick Herman explains that sales “weren’t great” by the end of its run, and that “internally it was perceived as a failure”.
Hopefully, Gearbox has a higher opinion of the series than Telltale. Anthony Burch – who wrote Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, as well as later episodes of Telltale’s series – added: “I really hope they show up [in Borderlands 3] in some way.”
So do we, but who knows when that will be? Gearbox’s unnamed new shooter “combines the action of fast-paced 1v1 first-person combat with the metagame strategy of a collectible card game.” Borderlands it (probably) ain’t.
Joe Skrebels is IGN’s UK News Editor, and will never stop talking about how Tales is the best Telltale game. Follow him on Twitter.
Source: IGN Video Games