Pitchford Responds To Borderlands 2 ‘Girlfriend Mode’ Accusations
Borderlands 2 recently had its Best Friends Forever skill tree revealed, a new style of play aimed at making the FPS/RPG hybrid easier for those not experienced with first-person shooters to join in.
Controversy was created, however, when many picked up on a quote by lead designer John Hemingway in an interview with Eurogamer. The quote is below:
“The design team was looking at the concept art and thought, you know what, this is actually the cutest character we’ve ever had. I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree. This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That’s what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is.”
Many took to Twitter to discuss what is now incorrectly being called ‘Girlfriend Mode’, inciting a response from Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford who defended Hemingway’s “personal anecdote.”
Pitchford said, “Borderlands 2 does NOT have a girlfriend mode. Anyone that says otherwise is misinformed or trying to stir up something that isn’t there.”
He continued to discuss the DLC skill tree, claiming its purpose was to make it “easier for less skilled coop partners (any gender!) to play and be useful.”
Discussing Hemingway’s comment Pitchford then stated, “I’m sure Hemmingway is getting noogied now, but not his fault. A personal anecdote has been twisted and dogpiled on by sensationalists.
“Meanwhile “boyfriend mode” or “girlfriend mode” is an idea that suggests that a gamers SO isn’t as hardcore as the gamer him/herself.”
Finishing his thoughts on the matter, Pitchford said “There is no universe where Hemmingway is a sexist – all the women at Gearbox would beat his and anyone else’s ass.”