We know that Gearbox Software is working on Borderlands 3 but, other than that, information about the game is scarce. Unfortunately, based on some recent comments from founder Randy Pitchford, it doesn't sound like the game is ready for an appearance at E3 2018.
We're only about a month out from this year's iteration of E3 and, thanks to some unexpectedly vocal publishers, we've got a better idea of what will be the focus of the show than we typically have. According to some tweets from Randy Pitchford, though, you probably shouldn't be holding your breath for any news on Borderlands 3.
Pitchford took an interesting route to expressing this fact, comparing his comments to those of the performer Todd Robbins. Pitchford explained that Robbins was known for both tricks and feats. Tricks, or magic, are illusions meant to make you believe something other than the truth. Robbins' feats, though, included things like swallowing a light bulb, which was a very real thing he did. The problem, according to Robbins, is that people are willing to believe the trick while assuming the feat is not real.
Pitchford used this example to lead into an announcement that Borderlands 3 will not be at E3 2018. His argument was that people want to believe so badly that the game will make an appearance, that even his statement of its absence will likely somehow fuel the belief that it's definitely going to be there.
It's actually a pretty solid way of getting his point across, though we'd argue there's one flaw in it. In this particular case, fine, we will take Pitchford's word that Borderlands 3 will not be a part of the buffet of games on display at this year's E3. In the past, though, developers have made similar statements in the hopes of being a "surprise" when the game actually does show up. Marketing is a complicated business, so we're not going to fault anyone for wanting to make a big, unexpected splash; but we're also not going to hold it against fans for not being willing to just accept these kinds of announcements as fact.
Again, Pitchford makes a good analogy here; we're just saying that in video games, sometimes it goes beyond fans simply wanting, with all their hearts, to see a game appear at a big show. Sometimes their refusal to believe "the truth" when it's stated in black and white is because they are so used to getting the exact opposite.
And I feel the need to stress here that we're not saying the folks involved with making the games are even totally to blame for that. Contractual obligations are tough to get around. It reminds me of a Phoenix Comicon panel from several years back when Ron Perlman stated, point blank, that he didn't know anything about a possible new Fallout game. Several days later, his voice could be heard as the radio announcer in the new Fallout 3 trailer.
Anyway, there you have it. Don't expect to see Borderlands 3 at E3 2018.