The Borderlands franchise has made a name for itself thanks to a unique design, witty humor, and addictive gameplay. Originally released in 2009, the first game garnered tons of positive reviews from critics and fans alike.
Developer Gearbox Software maintained their momentum with Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, both of which received a PS4 remastering via The Handsome Collection. Yet, after The Pre-Sequel dropped in 2014 the core series has gone dark, leaving many to speculate about when the next numbered entry was coming. There are a lot of clues and teases that highly suggest Borderlands 3 is coming, even without a true reveal yet. In fact, fans are so onboard with this unannounced game there’s even a Borderlands 3 Reddit page.
Outside of the terrific spin-off game Tales From the Borderlands, we haven’t been able to explore the world of Pandora in years. While Gearbox Software hasn’t given Borderlands 3 a formal announcement or release date, there hints suggesting the game is coming. Below we break down every rumor, easter egg, and leak surrounding this title.
Keep in mind, this game is not confirmed yet so take some of the information presented below with a grain of salt. We will also be speculating about certain aspects of Borderlands 3 such as the characters and story.
Here is everything we know about Borderlands 3 release date, gameplay, and development:
Borderlands 3 News and Rumors
GOne of the most intriguing aspects surrounding Borderlands 3 is the lack of an actual announcement. We know that a Borderlands game is in the works thanks to Gearbox Software’s SEO Randy Pitchford. In 2016, Pitchford tweeted out that Battleborn’s art director is now working on the newest Borderlands title. This is the first confirmation that a new Borderlands is on the way and is clearly being developed by Gearbox Software.
We also got a look at what Borderlands 3 would look like using the Unreal Engine 4 during GDC 2017. Pitchford showed off to the crowd some of the “technology we’re building within Uni 4 that will power the next Borderlands game.”
He made sure to explain that this was not gameplay and is simply a demonstration of how they obtained the look of Borderlands. During the presentation, Pitchford goes into detail about their line work, lighting, and how they produce the signature style Borderlands is known for.
Moving back to Twitter, Pitchford tweeted out an image of himself in a motion capture suit and remarked about playing a “psycho bandit.” For the unfamiliar, Psychos are actually an enemy type in the Borderlands series that are prominently featured on the covers of all three Borderlands games.
Pitchford continued to tease the existence of Borderlands 3 at 2017’s PAX West, stating that they are “working on the thing I think most of you guys want us to be working on.”
Even though Gearbox Software has multiple franchises, the most popular is certainly Borderlands 3. This title has been requested by fans constantly and is one of the company’s most consistent series in terms of quality and reception. Pitchford also put to rest any worries that the next installment will not be a core Borderlands game.
During an interview with IGN Unfiltered, Pitchford explains that he understands the concerns of the Borderlands’ community. He goes on to assure that the upcoming game will be “really big, worthy” and comments that “if we’re going to do one, it’s going to be that.”
Since The Pre-Sequel was more of an expansion than a brand new game, it’s great to hear that Borderlands 3 will not follow this trend. This interview also marks the first confirmation that the new Borderlands game will be a numbered entry in the series and not just a spin-off.
Finally, a job listing posted on Gearbox Software’s official website is clearly for Borderlands 3 even though the title remains nameless. The writing job is for a Triple-A game that’s described as an FPS/RPG Hybrid. One specific line explains that applicants should have “A love for comedy writing with respect for a serious underlying plot is helpful.”
Given the Borderlands games are always infused with dark humor, this is obviously an opening to work on the newest title in the franchise.
Borderlands 3 Release Date
Despite the relative secrecy surrounding the upcoming Borderlands title, there is some information and rumors regarding a possible release date. The most recent came in the form of a leaked screenshot that showed off the reveal date for the game. Originally posted to Reddit – which has been removed – the image shows the name Borderlands 3 and a reveal date of June 10.
It’s difficult to verify this image with all the sources taken down, but the text is remarkably similar to what the franchise uses.
A reveal date of June 10 also isn’t that surprising given it’s right before E3 starts. While we speculated that Borderlands 3 would make an appearance during Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference, it’s possible that publisher 2K Games shows it off beforehand.
As for when the game is actually going to drop, 2K Games sent a press release in February 2018 that teased the announcement “a highly anticipated new title from one of 2K’s biggest franchises.” This was stated once again by Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick during an investors meeting.
Borderlands is certainly one of 2K Games’ biggest franchises, however, a surprise leak by Kotaku may suggest this game is a new BioShock instead. Both of these titles are certainly wildly known, so which game Zelnick is referencing is unknown.
We feel the game is Borderlands 3, simply because the new BioShock game was described as “not ready for lots of people.”
Borderlands 3 Gameplay
When it comes to Borderlands 3’s gameplay, there isn’t any real information about what players can expect. However, we can make some assumptions and guesses based on the previous games. One of the main features we expect to return is co-op, which has been a staple of the franchise since its inception. We doubt that any competitive mode will be added in, even with the rise of popular genres such as battle royale.
Players should also expect multiple playable classes, but what they are is up for debate. The only class that has been consistent across the numbered entries is the Siren. We know that there are six Sirens in Borderlands lore and two of them are dead. This means if there is a Siren included it will be either Commandant Steele, Maya, Angel, or Lilith.
This leaves the door open for another one to make a return. Additionally, we do not expect the return of playable characters like Claptrap since they’re usually pretty integral to the story.
One question that remains unanswered is if Borderlands 3 will include microtransactions. Publisher 2K Games is no stranger to adding microtransactions, however, Randy Pitchford has been pretty outspoken against the more predatory ones.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Pitchford explains that they could have added them into Borderlands 2, but opted not to.
If the “grinding” is the game and the game is not fun, the rational choice is to play other games that are fun. If playing the game is fun, it should be a reward, not an obstacle to play the damn thing.
Given the vocal backlash that surrounded the microtransactions in titles such as Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Battlefront II, we wouldn’t be surprised if this title outright avoided them.
Borderlands 3 Characters and Story
Just like the gameplay, there aren’t any solid details revolving around Borderlands 3’s story. However, there is a possible hint in Gearbox Software’s Battleborn that might spoil a location we will visit. Posted by Youtuber Handsome Jackboy back in 2016, he discovered that the word Promethea is written across a wall next to the vault symbol.
Promethea is the location where weapon manufacturer discovered and reversed-engineered alien technology. This was prominently used by the militaristic faction known as the Crimson Lance. These Battleborn teases continued with a secret message hidden within the game. Eventually, community member whatsmynameagain cracked the code and found a reference to the future Borderlands game.
This hidden message was broken up into the five separate sections you see below.
Visit Prometea / Children of the Vault / We are not on Pandora anymore / Tannis is not what she seems / Do not open the Vaults
It’s clear that the new Borderlands is pushing this location, but the most intriguing portion involves Tannis. An ally and researcher that is encountered multiple times throughout the franchise, Tannis’ morality has been questionable at best. She is a sociopath that is obsessed with her experiments. This could set her up as a terrifying villain that can step out of Handsome Jack’s shadow.
Having an antagonist that the player’s know intimately would add needed drama and personal stakes into the story. This could also tie into the vault portion of the decoded message. Any experienced treasure hunter knows that these aren’t vaults in a literal sense, but massive, powerful beasts. Given both games have ended in players fighting these behemoths, we suspect that users will come face to face with a new one in Borderlands 3.
As for characters we suspect the usual suspects of Marcus, Dr. Ned, Scooter, Sir Hammerlock, and Tiny Tina will be involved. All of these NPCs are still alive and fan favorites that add continuity between installments. Where things get tricky is with Claptrap’s voice actor, David Eddings, actually left to become the Head of Publishing at Rooster Teeth.
Whether he will return to the role is still unknown, but we’d surprised if Borderlands 3 failed to include its most iconic character.
There’s also a chance that Borderlands 3 includes characters from Tales of the Borderlands. The only issue is the game would need to reintroduce them for players who haven’t played Tales From the Borderlands.
We seriously doubt that Handsome Jack makes a return, largely because he would overshadow any new antagonist that is introduced.
Despite all the teases, leaks, and hints we still know so little about Borderlands 3. As we grow closer to E3 we suspect more info will begin to appear, especially if that reveal date is true. We will continue to update this page as new Borderlands 3 information is revealed.