If you want lots of press about your game, say something a bit silly. That’s what Borderlands 2 director John Hemingway did today in an interview with Eurogamer, and it’s caused quite a stir since.
Basically, one of the skill trees in the upcoming first person shooter is called “Best Friends Forever” – a route that, should the player take it, makes the game considerably easier. Shooting, for example, requires less accuracy.
And that – apparently – has been dubbed “girlfriend mode” – internally perhaps, but by the press at large since the interview went live.
“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,” said Hemingway.
“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.”
Hemingway doesn’t mention the phrase Girlfriend Mode here, but it’s spiralled from there. This actually doesn’t seem like such a terrible idea – any game that provides a way to simplify the mechanics shouldn’t be derided at all, regardless of how it’s been perceived elsewhere.
“Borderlands 2 does NOT have a girlfriend mode. Anyone that says otherwise is misinformed or trying to stir up something that isn’t there,” said Gearbox head Randy Pitchford on Twitter.
Maybe ‘casual’ mode would have been less of a PR nightmare.