What happened to Gearbox's Heat?

Aug 17, 2007

Gearbox unveiled its latest PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 shooter Borderlandsthe other day, but what happened to the Michael Mann game-movie tie-in Heat announced 15 months ago?

"I had some folks that were ready to go," Pitchfordreveals to our brothers in arms Next Gen. "It was really frustrating for me," he says, explaining that at least two publishers were interested in the game and an external developer was on board, but then the business cycle got in the way.

The independent developer on the project was forced to sell itself due to tight business margins, Pitchford reveals. "What I've got now is this desire to do this Heat game," he says. "I think the folks that made the film believe that the game should happen."

Any developer could make a heist game, he claims, "but when we think of a heist story, there's a couple of things that we tend to gravitate towards, that Heat saves us from."

"Heat... is hardcore heist. Hockey mask, AK-47, duffel bag full of cash. Part of the strategy expects collateral damage. We can totally imagine that as a videogame.

"Heat was phenomenal in that it actually looked at the situation from both sides of the law... The whole idea that, when the heat is on, you've got to be able to drop everything you've got and walk away-and if you can't do that, the heat's going to get you."

Gearbox is now left searching for another development partner. Will it ever give up on the Heat game? "I don't think so," says Pitchford. "I'm still holding onto it. In a normal rational line of thinking, I should consider it dead. But I refuse to."