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Image courtesy of Gearbox Software

Several senior developers at Gearbox Software who worked on “Borderlands 3” are leaving the company and going to work on a new independent project together, Gearbox confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Senior producer Christopher Brock, lead mission designer Keith Schuler, and art director Scott Kester have been with the company for more than a decade. Paul Sage served as the game’s creative director, alongside UX/Game Feel director Chris Strasz and lead character artist Kevin Penrod. All are leaving.

  • News of their exit was announced internally about two weeks ago, with seven senior departures in total.
  • A source with direct knowledge tells Axios that almost all of the departing developers were working on the same project currently in pre-production; Gearbox has already begun to shift new team members over.

What they’re saying: Gearbox Entertainment founder Randy Pitchford told Axios the group is leaving Gearbox "on the best of terms."

  • "Before their transition, the group was part of a not-yet-announced pre-production team and their departure will cause minimal disruption in our current plans," Pitchford said.
  • The company is currently working on new projects involving Gearbox properties.
    • "The bulk of our attention at the moment is dedicated to finishing '[Tiny Tina's] Wonderlands,'" he said, "which is on-track."
  • One source told Axios the exits represented a departure of some of the studio’s old guard, and said there was excitement in the studio that "fresh blood is now going to be leading the project they left.”

The big picture: "Borderlands 3" launched in 2019; departures years after its release would have given developers time to collect royalties on the game.

  • "Borderlands 3" co-writer Danny Homan left Gearbox in May, after six years, to join Respawn Entertainment as a senior writer.

Go deeper

Ubisoft loses another top "Assassin’s Creed" developer

"Assassin's Creed Revelations." Image: Ubisoft

“Assassin’s Creed” franchise art director Raphael Lacoste has left Ubisoft after spending more than a decade at the company.

Why it matters: Lacoste is the latest in a number of high-level creative people who have departed Ubisoft’s top franchise amid upheaval at the multinational publisher.

2 wildfires ravage Northern California homes as thousands evacuate

Firefighters monitoring the scene as flames from the Dixie Fire jump across highway 89 near Greenville, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the town of Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County Wednesday night. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Team USA's Ryan Crouser competing on Thursday in the men's Olympic shot put final in Tokyo, which he won. Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images

🥇: Ryan Crouser breaks his own Olympic shot put record to win gold for U.S.

🏐: U.S. Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage