2K, Gearbox Software and the Academy of Art University today announced Borderlands Cooperative, a partnership that will provide students of the university with once-in-a-lifetime career development opportunities. With the guidance of their professors, and resources from 2K and Gearbox, students across all disciplines will come together to create an original animated short film set in the popular Borderlands universe. The animated short will be available by the end of 2013. Borderlands 2, the most recent installment of the franchise developed by Gearbox, and published by 2K, has sold-in nearly six-million copies and won over 55 editorial awards since its release in September of 2012.
Academy of Art’s mission is to prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century and this project with industry leaders at 2K and Gearbox is exactly the kind of real-world experience we strive to provide, said Chris Armstrong, Director of School of Animation & VFX at Academy of Art University. These students are aspiring game designers, programmers, writers and animators who will now graduate with hands-on experience and a product of work they can share with prospective employers, making them well-positioned to compete for and win the jobs of today’s global economy.”
In addition to valuable experience and networking opportunities, students involved in Borderlands Cooperative have a chance to jump-start their careers with an internship at 2K. During the spring semester, teams of students will create original short stories that take place inside the Borderlands universe. Any student, regardless of their discipline, can form a team and submit an original storyboard for consideration. A panel of Academy of Art University, 2K and Gearbox judges will select one story to become part of the Borderlands mythos, and the team behind that story will have the opportunity to interview for the internship.
Animation students will work together throughout the summer and fall to produce an animated short film based on the story selected by the judges. The real-world scenario will challenge students to work together, to overcome obstacles, and to produce finished products on deadlines, just like professionals in their chosen fields.
We are so proud and excited at 2K to have the opportunity to give back to our local San Francisco community and help enable students to achieve their dreams of breaking into the entertainment industry, said Sarah Anderson, SVP of Marketing at 2K. The Borderlands universe is vast and there are many stories left to tell, we cant wait to see what imaginative scenario is realized in the finished animated short film later this year.
“We are thrilled that our Borderlands universe has inspired so much creativity,” said Randy Pitchford, President of Gearbox Software. “We are happy to offer the Academy of Art University access to our digital assets so that its students’ creativity can be harnessed into positive career development efforts and, if we’re lucky, the creation of some great content that every Borderlands fan can enjoy.”
Borderlands 2 is rated M for Mature by the ESRB and is available now on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.