Gearbox Software LLC

Moby ID: 2049

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Gearbox Software LLC is based in Plano, Texas (USA) and was founded in January 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 PlayStation 2 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 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 short-lived series that branched out to a wide range of platforms. As a departure from their FPS history, Gearbox Software created the Wii version of Samba de Amigo in 2008.

In the 2010s, Gearbox Software released the Borderlands series, Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines. Since 2013, they have owned the Homeworld IP, licensing development out to Blackbird Interactive.

In December 2015, the main company was joined by a secondary studio Gearbox Studio Québec. Since 2016, Gearbox Software has run the Gearbox Publishing label, joined in 2022 by the San Francisco branch purchased from Perfect World.

On 2 February 2021, Gearbox Software became part of the Embracer Group as its own operational unit. On 22 November 2022, Eidos Shanghai was transferred from the CDE Entertainment operating group to Gearbox and renamed Gearbox Studio Shanghai.

On 28 March 2024, Embracer Group sold Gearbox Software to Take-Two Interactive for US$ 460 million. This sale included Gearbox Montréal and Quebec studios, as well as most of the company's intellectual properties. Gearbox Publishing San Francisco and its belonging subsidiaries and properties would remain with Embracer, and was renamed to Arc Games shortly afterwards as it no longer had any rights to the Gearbox name.

Credited on 43 Games from 1999 to 2024

Displaying most recent · View all

Homeworld: Vast Reaches (2024 on Quest)
Duke Nukem 1+2 Remastered / Duke Nukem 3D: Total Meltdown (2023 on Evercade)
New Tales from the Borderlands (2022 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands (2022 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderlands One-shot Adventure (2021 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Halo: Combat Evolved - Anniversary (2020 on Windows, Windows Apps)
Borderlands 3 (2019 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Penn & Teller VR: Frankly Unfair, Unkind, Unnecessary, & Underhanded (2019 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Quest)
Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced (2019 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Borderlands 2 VR (2018 on Windows, PlayStation 4)
Fortnite (2017 on Windows, Macintosh, iPhone...)
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (2016 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Battleborn (2016 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (2015 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Homeworld: Remastered Collection (2015 on Windows, Macintosh)
Tales from the Borderlands (2014 on Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4...)
Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 1 - Zer0 Sum (2014 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPad...)
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! (2014 on Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3...)
Borderlands 2 (2014 on PS Vita)
Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013 on Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

[ view all ]

History +

March 28, 2024

Company is sold by Embracer Group to Take-Two Interactive for US$ 460 million. This sale included Gearbox Montréal and Quebec studios, as well as most of the company's IPs. Gearbox Publishing San Francisco and its belonging subsidiaries and properties would remain with Embracer, pending a renaming.

January 4, 2023

Company acquires Captured Dimensions, a Texas-based technology company specializing in 3D capture, scanning, and reconstruction services.

April 21, 2022

Company acquires Lost Boys Interactive.

February 2, 2021

Company acquired by Embracer Group.

January 1999

Company founded in Dallas, Texas.

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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