When it comes to Gearbox, the video game development studio may be best known for their Borderlands franchise. The series was a massive hit and it recently just had a third installment released into the market. For fans, this new installment is a beloved entry that is giving them plenty of content to go through. However, for developers who worked on this game, may remember it as a low point in their career. This is all due to a new report from Kotaku that unveiled the studio made some big promises in terms of finical gain.
Gearbox may not be known for high paying jobs. In fact, according to the report made by Kotaku, the studio is one of the more below-average salaries in the video game industry. As a result, it may not be the first choice developers would be after when making a jump into the video game industry. However, what is lucrative for developers at Gearbox is the royalty revenue split the development studio offers.
This is a 60/40 split in which 60% of the royalty revenue goes to Gearbox, while 40% is given to employees. In the past, this has brought in enough money to buy houses for developers and the longer they work at the studio, the bigger the checks are.
So when going into Borderlands 3, a game that was sure to be a big hit in terms of sales, the development team was likely okay with the idea of having to endure some crunch and low pay. However, it was stated that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has alerted developers that the big paychecks from the royalty bonuses were going to be significantly smaller than expected. This is due to the development costs to create Borderlands 3 along with some changes midway into development from Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4.
As a result, it looks like the hard work and dedication the team endured with a promise of a big chunk of money from royalties may result in developers leaving the studio. After all, there’s always going to be fear moving forward that another promise could be broken which would leave little hope and dedication when moving forward.