Randy Pitchford has said game developers shouldn't be biased against or quick to shrug off working with licensed products.
Speaking during the opening keynote at the today, Pitchford said there's plenty of "cool stuff" out in the world to work with and cutting your teeth on an established license can be invaluable.
"There's lots of cool stuff out in the world. Before we begin our own journeys it's usually other people's work that inspires us. Right now, my studio is working on a game called Aliens: Colonial Marines... I've been stealing from Aliens my entire career," he said.
"We wanted to be sure that our image afforded us credibility and proof of experience...so if there was a dream project out there, if someone else had an IP, they would be lucky, they would be fortunate to have Gearbox involved."
Gearbox started out working with Valve on Half-Life: Opposing Force, which Pitchford said not only gave his team the experience it needed, but helped Valve turn its game into a franchise.
"When Valve launched Half-Life in 1998 it was an incredible game, a groundbreaking game, revolutionary in some respects, but it was a game... It would be 5 or 6 years before Valve released a sequel. So not only did we have fun playing in their brilliant space, but we helped Valve turn their game into a franchise," he said.
"We had to bring something to the table. It wasn't enough just to do the job; we had to make it special, make it our own. When you played Opposing Force we wanted it to feel like the people that made it actually cared... You have to find a way to make it feel like not just anyone could have done it."
Working with licensed products can also be a creative boon, according to Pitchford, because its easy to become bored once a firm has mastered the tech or keeps churning out the same thing "over and over." When that happens, a developer will "eventually die in this industry."
Thanks, GI International.