Gearbox’s CEO, Randy Pitchford, recently told the studio’s employees that they will not receive the expected royalty bonuses. Instead, the developers will receive small bonus checks, but nothing close to the significant bonuses they were expecting.
This could probably made sense if the game was a failure, but it was not. Publisher 2K described Borderlands 3 as “a billion-dollar global brand”. Meaning Borderlands 3 was an enormous success for the studio and the publisher. The title received mostly positive ratings, and if you exclude the mediocre story, the rest of the game was quite fun.
The Texas based Gearbox studio is offering its employees below-average salaries for the video game industry. In order to make up for that Gearbox is offering profit-sharing. Game royalties are split 60/40, with 60% going into the company, and 40% going to the employees.
When Borderlands 2 came out some Gearbox employees made enough money to even buy a house. However, it looks like several things have changed since then. According to several Gearbox employees the studio promised them six-figure bonuses for Borderlands 3. This promise helped developers get through many long nights working on the game. Sadly, it did not go so well in the end.
You can read the whole article by Jason Schreier here.