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Gearbox Software LLC

Overview

Gearbox Software LLC is based in Plano, Texas (USA) and was founded in January of 1999 by a group of experienced 3d game artists, designers and engineers: Randy Pitchford, Brian Martel, Stephen Bahl, Landon Montgomery and Rob Heironimus. They formerly worked together at Rebel Boat Rocker, Inc. until the studio went out of business. Pitchford and Martel previously worked together at 3D Realms, and Montgomery used to work at Bethesda Softworks.

The company initially worked closely together with Valve on titles in the Half-Life franchise. They ported the game to the PS2 and were responsible for the three expansions: Opposing Force (1999), Blue Shift (2001) and Decay (2001 - only released as a part of the Half-Life PS2 version). A Dreamcast version they had in development was eventually cancelled. The team was also involved with Counter-Strike and the console version Condition Zero.

Around 2002, they started forming relationships with other publishers, which led to the PC versions of 007: Nightfire (2002), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (2002) and most notably the Windows version of Halo: Combat Evolved (2003).

The studio's first game based on in-house IP was the first-person warfare shooter Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005), it marked the first game in a long-running series that branched out to a wide range of platforms including major consoles, personal computers, hand-helds and mobile editions.

A departure from their FPS history, Gearbox Software created the Wii version of Samba de Amigo in 2008.

The company now has various projects in development: downloadable content (DLC) for Borderlands and the first-person shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines based on the official Aliens license.

Trivia

While modeling guns for Counter-Strike, a Gearbox artist carried an Airsoft rifle into the elevator of the building housing the development studio. An employee of one of the other businesses (a bank) saw the gun under his coat, believed it to be real, and called the police. It wasn't until the SWAT team was called in and began a floor-to-floor search for the "terrorist" that the mistake was realized. They are more careful now...

Gearbox employees have worked on 8 of the 10 most successful FPS franchises ever developed (Doom, Quake, Halo, Half-Life, Unreal, Counter-Strike, Duke Nukem, and James Bond - but not Battlefield or Rainbow Six).

Gearbox is one of the few independent developers with their own motion capture studio in-house.

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