2K Games makes plans for short ‘Borderlands 2’ film

A little piece of “Borderlands 2” is coming to the big screen, thanks to a project from gamemaker Gearbox Software that’s giving some lucky students a chance to put their own spin on the major title. Gearbox and publisher 2K Games announced a project called Borderlands Cooperative on Tuesday that teams up with Academy of Art University in California to create an animated short film based on the game.

Shaun Featherstone, a professor at the university, said students were lined up down the hallway to sign up for the project when they heard it was for the game, which has sold almost 6 million copies since its September launch.

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“We’ve been thinking about ways to engage with community and give something back,” said Sarah Anderson, senior vice president of marketing at 2K Games. “Borderlands Cooperative was a way for us to give the students an opportunity to have a real-world experience and play with the world of Borderlands.”

Featherstone said the partnership works well with the school’s mission of giving students a practical application for their art degrees, especially since students will have to storyboard, pitch and produce their work just as they would in the game industry.

The school, he said, “really concentrates on crafting a commercially viable work force ... but students are not always given opportunities to work with industry clients.”

Students from multiple disciplines, including animation, design and marketing, will work on their films through the summer and fall. One will be selected by a panel of judges. The students who make the best film will get the opportunity to apply for an internship at Gearbox and have their film become an official part of the Borderlands storyline.

The film should be finished before the end of 2013, the company said.

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