Who owns the rights to a Blade Runner videogame? Gearbox, that's who. The developers of Brothers in Arms and Borderlands - not to mention the recent custodians of Duke Nukem - could move forward with an adaption of Ridley Scott's seminal sci-fi spectacular; but they won't. According to studio head, Randy Pitchford, investing in a Blade Runner game isn't a "rational business model".
"Blade Runner was on the list," Pitchford reveals to the Official Playstation Magazine via CVG when discussing a slew of dream properties the studio had sought and secured. "We had it too and we were like, 'No, we can't.' That game would've cost like $40m to make and sold about 600,000 units - and that would have been the end of us".
While one could argue the cross-generational popularity of Blade Runner - it's still considered a classic, even amongst younger sci-fi lovers who download it off Pirate Bay - film adaptions don't often yield much fruit. "There's no rational business model that would have allowed that to make sense," explains Pitchford. "If we'd made it with a business model that did work, it would not have been the Blade Runner game we all would have wanted".
However, spare the tears; Gearbox is at least working on one title set in a universe Ridley Scott created. Or, to be more precise, a universe Scott created, and James Cameron built atop. The long-in-development Aliens Colonial Marines, a direct sequel to Cameron's xenomorph classic, is back on track and due for release next year.
And who knows, maybe Gearbox will give the Blade Runner IP a shot one day. Hollywood is actively developing a sequel - sigh - so why not start developing a proper tie-in, rather than a slap job cash-in? [CVG]