Publishing Blog 5: Order of the Phoenix

Hey everyone!

How was your January? Did you keep your New Years resolutions? Our collective success rate was pretty mixed, but hey! We did our best.

More importantly, we’ve been working hard to get up to speed since we returned from break. Read on to find out how that went!

  Steve – Head of Publishing

Dude, that was crazy.


Jeff – Brand Manager 

Hey everybody – your favorite Jeff of Gearbox Publishing here! We spent most of January working with the crew over at Compulsion to share out the updated production and release schedule and show some of the cool new stuff that they’re working on (Sally!). With the date shift, we were back to square one with our marketing and communications plan – so I spent the rest of the month updating our plan for how and when we’re going to share the rest of the awesome stuff Compulsion is building closer to launch this summer.

In personal news, Austin and I did the Keto diet this month. Well, most of the month, he wimped out with a few days to go. Since the Shame Chart’s inception last year, this has been the first time I’ve gotten a sticker for eating well every day of a month. Diet is going great, but I do really miss beer… and tacos… and pizza.

  Meredith – Community Coordinator

Hey y’all, happy January! I hope you didn’t have too much trouble keeping your resolutions, or alternatively deciding they weren’t worth the stress and dropping them!

This month, I mainly focused on getting back into the swing of things after the winter break. As soon as I got back, I started playing catch-up, including setting up my social calendar for the month, and putting together our Publishing blog for December.

The team and I had a pretty big task this month: we heard a variety of pitches from creative and media agencies who are interested in helping us with marketing for We Happy Few! Every pitch was stuffed full of fun and unique ideas, and I’m excited to see our marketing campaign unfold!

  Elisa – New Media Manager

Hi, everyone! Hope this new year is treating you well so far. Mine kicked off with a bang, with two conventions in the first two weekends of the year!

First convention was MAGFest, the Music and Gaming Festival, in the D.C. area. I had the chance to speak on a few panels on networking in the industry and giving advice to folks who are considering studying games in graduate school—something I’m currently wrapping up myself. Other than the panels, MAGFest had a fabulous arcade, lots of indie vendors, and concerts everywhere you turned. I highly recommend going if you haven’t!

The second convention was PAX South in San Antonio! It’s pretty sweet having a convention close enough to be able to make a road trip out of it. While I was there briefly, I had the opportunity to meet with some members of the community as well as serve on a panel on video production in the industry! One tip I had for those looking into getting into the streaming/video space—don’t wait to have all the best gear to get started. Start now, get your basics of planning/execution/editing down, and there will be plenty of room to upgrade and show improvement later on.

Want more pearls of wisdom from industry vets and me (for some reason)? The whole panel is below:

As promised in last month’s pub blog, I got a start on one of my New Year’s resolutions—I got through the first Harry Potter book via audiobook on my drive to and from PAX South. I’m going through each book a month at a time, so fully expect updates on my progress in each pub blog going forward. I…I think I might be a Ravenclaw! What house are YOU in?

  Austin – PR Manager

Hey y’all!

As you might have seen, we had some pretty major updates go out from the communications department (the We Happy Few delay). I won’t get into the details, as Compulsion Games thoroughly talked about it in their weekly journal, but I thought I would provide some context of what the PR team does in these situations.

The first step was to decide when to announce the news. This one was easy; we have lots of current fans of the series, so we wanted to let them know as soon as we had all the details ironed out.

Next, we decided how we’d do it. With Compulsion having such a strong relationship with the community, we thought it would be best to have them actually sit down and talk on camera to the community about the future of the project.

And finally, we decided what we were going to say. Yes, this encompasses “the game is delayed”, but we also dived into the reasons why. As the video states, it’s because the game is bigger than what we imagined it would be, the team needs more time to ensure this bigger content is as great as we all know it will be. We also showed off new content of Sally, the second playable character, as a finisher to the video. The goal of this section was to provide actual visuals to show what we mean when we say “bigger” and “new”. Seeing is believing and we can’t wait to show you even more!

And yes, I did the Keto diet, but did NOT wimp out like Jeff has said. I just crushed it so hard that I didn’t need to finish the month.

And the climatic end to my McDonald’s GIF saga:


  Michael – Submissions Specialist

Hello All,

This month was interesting. We came back from a much earned holiday vacation and are charged up for the new year! Spending time with family and friends was great, and it left me feeling more energized!

I got up to a couple things this month, but more importantly, I obtained a turtle over the holiday break! Raphael is the new member of the household, and has become a small icon among a couple of my co-workers at Gearbox Publishing. I set Raph (her nickname) up with a live stream on YouTube so I can monitor her status throughout the day. More importantly, it’s exciting to see how everyone gets happy when they see her walking, swimming, drinking, or doing turtle things.

Publishing work this month has been exciting! Among other projects, some of my focus went into helping our Art department gather box art templates, which are occasionally updated by the first parties. When we publish games, we must follow the guidelines and templates for each platform. This allows the box art to achieve consistency across all the platform’s physical games.

For example, you may have noticed some recent box art updates that designate Microsoft products as compatible with Xbox One X, or seen new icons on PlayStation games that feature a VR component. Making sure we have the most up-to-date templates helps our artists work quickly and efficiently when putting together box art for review.

That’s about all I have for now, but I wanted to let you guys know I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. As a gamer, I didn’t know all the pieces, time, or effort, that went into creating a game and getting it on the shelves for customers, but I’m glad we’re able to show you a glimpse into the hard work we put in to have those games available to you.

Thanks and have a great day!


  Erica – Director of Licensing 

Hey kids!

I’m Erica, Director of Licensing at Gearbox. The majority of my job is working with partners who make…something – toys, clothing, music, games – and making deals to allow them to use Gearbox’s properties. After the deals are made, I support our partners as they work on projects with our brands, and handle approvals of final products. Gearbox owns Borderlands, Battleborn, Homeworld, Brothers in Arms, and Duke Nukem, so there’s always a lot going on in my realm. (Some people think my job is playing with toys, but that’s only a little true.)

In the Exciting Things Going on Now Round-up:

We’ve been working with McFarlane Toys for some time now, and Handsome Jack and Tiny Tina figures are in store now. We also have more figures in the pipeline in various stages – some being sculpted, some going through final paint approval. We’ll be revealing the next one very soon, so stay tuned.

We’ve recently unleashed some new tee shirts featuring Duke Nukem. Several designs are coming soon to various major retailers, but my favorite, featuring an old school metal aesthetic, has been spotted in the wild at Box Lunch, and also in the daycare pickup line on really badass moms.

Speaking of, Duke has a few cameos coming soon! By now you’ve probably spotted him in the Ready Player One trailer. Keep an eye out for more Duke cameos elsewhere as well. I’m not going to tell you where Duke will show up next, but I can say that he’s always playing The King.

This year our licensees will have many new products coming out featuring many of our brands, characters, and worlds. We have projects underway for tee shirts, clothing, collectibles, and more. There’s a lot in the pipeline that I really want to tell you about, but I can’t talk specifically about just yet. Every day we are discussing possibilities, reviewing art submissions, poking and prodding samples, and seeing awesome new items come into existence.

I’ve also been working on a relaunch of the Gearbox Store. Yes, I admit it – this relaunch is much delayed. We’ve had several inquiries about it on Twitter and the forums, so I figured I’d just come clean and address it. We know you’ve been waiting; it is still coming, and I hope to have more specific info to share soon. Turns out it’s easier to imagine cool things than build them!

This month I’ll be traveling to Toy Fair in New York to meet with partners and potential partners, and to get a look at all the “new hot”. I’ve been looking at the show map and planning out my days and not to get too excited in an undignified way but.. Dude-its-massive-and-filled-with-toys-and-people-who-make-toys-and-I-think-I-know-what-I-want-to-do-when-I-grow-up-and-I-think-I-am-doing-it, bro!

Child-like excitement aside, I’ll be looking for opportunities for all of our brands, both at the show, and when I’m at home in the office. If you are a potential licensee, you can contact us via our contact form. If you’re a video game enthusiast who would just like to get more cool stuff, I’d like to know – who are your favorite purveyors of toys, clothing, and collectibles who you’d like to see us collab with? Tweet at me – @rikaconfesses.

Also please tweet Red Dwarf references and memes at me, there are not enough smeg-heads in this office who get it.


Kat – Project Manager


Wow, I can’t believe it’s already the end of the first month of the year. I also started up the year of conventions at MAGFest, but for purely personal reasons as an attendee. I’m from that area so it was fun to check out again. <Love it or hate it, insert Colossus roar here>

The past few weeks have been a mad dash to plan and schedule out the rest of the year, we have some really cool stuff coming down the pipeline!

Over Christmas break, we got some really cool canvases from Compulsion and they are hanging up in our office, one of them above my desk! You can see some of them in the video below.

We’re starting to get some production samples of the Time Capsule, so we get to do things like rock out to the vinyl in our office. It says something about this crew that we had to pick which record player to use, as there were multiples.


  Mike – Creative Director

Hey everyone,

January has been a busy month.  We’ve continued our pre-production efforts – storyboarding and creating animatics – on the marketing assets I mentioned in my last blog post, and we’re even adding a few more.  We have a lot of spinning plates, balls in the air, and many things on the horizon.  I’m excited to share these things with you all, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Until next month!

  Kelly – Art Director

Heya folks!

I can’t believe January is already behind us. Any New Year’s resolutions we might have once had have now been ripped up and tossed in the fire – NOW we can get down to business!

As for what the artsy people have been up to since the last blog post, the short answer is – lots; but to be a bit more specific, we’ve been hard at work putting together art for physical objects like the disc art and the back of box for We Happy Few, as well as working on setting up screenshots for upcoming uses.

January was an exciting month personally. I was whisked away up north to the great big state of Alaska to take care of family business, where I was almost able to complete a bucket list item: “get tossed around in an earthquake; survive the resulting tsunami.” I managed to check off the first part when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook everyone out of bed and had them evacuating the town of Kodiak (where I was staying), but I was left a little disappointed when the hundred-foot wall of water never materialized. That would’ve been a sight to see. Oh well, probably for the better. …next time.

Tune in again in February to see if I fulfill another natural disaster bucket list item: “get caught in a Texas tornado; end up in Oz.”

  Sean – Chief Bro/Web Designer 

  • Websites still #Turnt A.F.
  • 2/3 fish still alive, which is cool – dead fish was a jerk.
  • I’m pretty sure Mike’s turtle murdered the 3rd fish though…

I also did of the whole automation thing, worked on some stuff for We Happy Few, and FINALLY finished up Assassin’s Creed: Origins and it’s a SUPER baller game. Oh…and also, GO EAGLES in the super browl!

User Research

  Jon – User Research Manager    Michelle – User Research Analyst   Kyle – Senior User Research Analyst 

Hi, everyone!

This month we have been interviewing playtest intern candidates for a large user test occurring in early February. We are excited to collect feedback from playtesters who are exposed to more content in We Happy Few. We are working with Compulsion to develop our methods for this test, and our interns will have face-time with them periodically during the playtest; we look forward to learning more from our playtesters.

– Gearbox Publishing User Research Team