Why Did Key Borderlands Writers / Staff Leave Between TPS And 3?

I keep hearing that certain key writers and other key Borderlands folks left Gearbox at various times between The PreSequel and Borderlands 3.

Who were they and why did they leave?

Health reasons?

Job dissatisfaction?

@Monsterdroid I know you had mentioned this over the weekend, maybe you can help refresh my memory?

I’m TERRIBAD with names and I swear my memory is starting to fade the closer to 40 I get.

Thanks very much in advance!

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Anthony Burch went on to make his own Hulu series apparently.
Not sure if that is the only reason why but he coincidentally left around the same time they may have cut Handsome jack…Just saying…

I think Bl3 is like 4 years of work imo, not the 5 or 7 years people have been saying, unless the new writers are that bad…

Still love the gameplay though.


Mikey Nuemann was lead on Borderlands & Dlc. He had a stroke and left in 2011.

Anthony Burch took over as head writer then, and well the success of the game opened doors for him. He left to start his own tv show. If you want to see what got him and his sister (Ashley Burch aka Tiny Tina) the gig at gearbox look up the hey Ash whatcha playing YouTube series.

He has had a real bad run of things online afterwards though. Like he’s become a meme bad. Also, he may have left gearbox on less than ideal terms.

Mikey Nuemann came back after he got better and was head of creative until 2017 when he fell ill again and left, likely for good. He is doing movie reviews on YouTube as a passion project.

Anthony Burch gets a lot of ( much well deserved) credit for the Borderlands series but he wasn’t alone and had a lot of help.


Randy Pitchford announced that Borderlands 3 was entering development in January 2015, so the game had 4.5 years of total development. However, development was apparently partially restarted a year into development because they decided to change from their proprietary in-house engine to Unreal Engine 4, so it’s more like 3.5 years of development.


Ouch. Thanks for the info.

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Borderlands has had different writers for almost every game in the series.

Borderlands 1- Mikey Neumann

2011- Mikey Neumann leaves Gearbox after having a stroke.

Borderlands 2- Anthony Burch

Borderlands The Pre-Sequel: Anthony Burch and a team of writers from 2K Australia

Tales From the Borderlands: Anthony Burch wrote an overall story treatment for the season, but the majority of the actual writing was done by Pierre Shorette From Telltale Games

2015- Anthony Burch leaves Gearbox after finishing writing for Battleborn and apologizing for his “offensive” Borderlands writing. Mikey Neumann returns to Gearbox and is announced as the lead writer for Borderlands 3.

2017- Mikey Neuman retires from Gearbox citing ongoing health issues and is replaced as lead writer of Borderlands 3 by Danny Homan and Sam Winkler.


Did he say specifically what was “offensive” about his Borderlands writing?

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I’m not sure, I just remember reading that he apologized for writing Borderlands 2 at one point, and that a lot of Borderlands fans hated him for apologizing like that. Anthony is apparently very liberal and progressive, so many of Borderlands right wing fans don’t like him very much.


Personally I think that Tales from the Borderlands has the best writing in the series. I wish that Gearbox had snagged Pierre Shorette when Telltale shut down last year, would have been a great pickup for writing future Borderlands games. Borderlands 3 was a bit of a letdown in terms of writing and I’m not sure if the writers just aren’t very good, or if it’s simply due to the messy development cycle with development being restarted to change engines and Mikey leaving halfway through development.


No he didn’t. He said they were ready to start development, that they were not feeling it yet, and started advertising that they were hiring.

Battleborn was still in development then and a year away from launch. If I recall, they were announcing DLC for the pre-sequel also for 2k oz.

Serious development didn’t start until Battleborn failed.

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Is “failed” possibly too strong a word?

No, is not. I love the game but it was obliterated by overwatch. Quite unfairly I might ad. They are two completely different games. I blame the media and 2k’s marketing on this one.

It, to me, was a superior game with so much flair and character differences.

Personally, I don’t like only competitive games but if I were stuck only playing either overwatch or Battleborn I’d pick the latter.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a failure though. The pre-sequel was a bomb also.

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I played almost nothing but Battleborn for many hours almost every single day from release until late 2017.

Just over 2000 hours, platinum trophy, etc.

I loved it.

Truly a unique and special game.

F**k Blizzard and their deliberate kiboshing of it.


But yeah, sadly, failed IS the correct term.

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You should just Google him honestly. It’s way too long a story but it’s not good.

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Doing so right now.

What is this “HAWP” the article keeps mentioning?

There were episodes of it?

You tube. Hey Ash whatcha playing (hawp).

Some good stuff there. Basically the origin of our favorite little psychopath.


The consensus seems to be that if he hadn’t been so incredibly, publicly, and consistently outspoken, arrogant, and polarizing with his rather extreme views, and instead been more laid back and reclusive, his writing and work on Borderlands would not have come under even remotely as heavy fire.


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Here’s a little snippet from these forums a while back.

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Before that Mikey Nueman left around 2011-12’ due to health reasons(a stroke I think).

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