Gearbox Software's president says the game's development has "evolved" beyond the original series.
Brothers In Arms: Furious 4 was revealed as a radical departure from the World War II squad-based shooter series. The Escapist's E3 2011 preview showed that Gearbox's latest vision favored cartoonish visuals, comedic dialog, and RPG-style leveling over somber, dramatic storytelling and careful suppress-and-flank maneuvers. Now, it seems that the changes have run so deep that Furious 4 will no longer be part of the Brothers In Arms franchise.
Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford announced at PAX that Furious 4 will be spun off into an separate brand. He stated that the game had "evolved" since its inception, and that the game's developers "pushed the gameplay loop" and "got into a place that got away from the core" of the original franchise. As a result, the company made the decision to "unshackle" the brand from the re-imagined title.
Pitchford explained that by removing the reference to Brothers In Arms, the developers were able to experiment with new gameplay features that would've gone against the grain of the game's origins. He also suggested that Furious 4 will combine gameplay genres, similar to the meld of first-person shooter and RPG mechanics in Borderlands, although he declined to provide further details until the Gearbox Software community day in Dallas, Texas on September 15th.
Announcements on Furious 4 had remained quiet since its reveal in Ubisoft's E3 conference, which featured a band of four soldiers hunting down Hitler in a style that appeared to be highly inspired by Quentin Tarentino's Inglourious Basterds. Given the reaction from Brothers In Arms fans over the abrupt shift in tone, it seems like a good decision to separate Furious 4 from the heroic exploits of the 101st.