Gearbox Software is a Frisco, Texas-based video game developer, founded in 1999 by former 3D Realms employees Randy Pitchford, Brian Martel, Stephen Bahl, Landon Montgomery and Rob Heironimus.
They got their start making Expansion Packs and Ports for the Half-Life series, which were generally regarded somewhere between So Okay, It's Average and pretty good. They came into their own when they released Brothers in Arms for the PC and Xbox, an original IP that managed to sell very well despite its lack of pedigree and very realistic approach to the FPS genre.
After making a few sequels, they announced another IP they were working on - Borderlands. After a lengthy preview in Game Informer, a last-minute art style shift, and good buzz all around, the game became an unexpected Sleeper Hit, managing to sell incredibly well despite being an unproven IP.
Compared to Zombie Studios, a similar American game developer that, like Gearbox Software, is an independent company that developed games for a multitude of major companies and used the Unreal Engine extensively.
- Half-Life expansions
- Halo: Combat Evolved (developed the PC port)
- Halo Custom Edition
- Brothers in Arms series
- Furious 4 (since split off into its own IP)
- Duke Nukem Forever note
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (Timegate Studios was the principal single-player developer until Gearbox took over with the multiplayer being made by another studio.)
Tropes that apply to the company:
- Everything Is Big in Texas: Oddly averted - despite being headquartered in Texas, and being the minds behind the Borderlands series (which is, put lightly, Gun Porn: The Game), with the second installment being the highest-selling game released by 2K Games, no one seems to mention the two facts together.
- Shout-Out: Common; Borderlands and Borderlands 2 even have their own pages just for shout outs.
- Also note how Randy Pitchford acts in every interview (when asked which game he was most looking forward to playing, he immediately and unabashedly said Ni no Kuni)