The “Girlfriend Mode” Line From Borderlands 2 Designer Was the Dumbest Move Ever

One More Level writer weighs in on the "girlfriend mode" controversy.

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user54670072232d ago

So basicaly the new class is made for casuals and will have no real use for the real fans of the game who actually have an interested in games or this game in question.

Why do developers do's like a massive middle finger towards real fans of a franchise

Why do you need to force people into a game, you either like them and are good at it or you suck/you don't like games. You don't need to create gameplay design around those types of people. Focus of the fans you have Gearbox

GamingGuru2232d ago

Randy Pitchford tweeted that the "skill in question gives a chance for missed shots to reflect and hit the enemy".

That doesn't sound anymore noob friendly than adding dexterity to an RPG character. Hell Salvador's final ability increases his damage resistance by 90%, by this logic that is far more casual friendly.

This article is trying to stir up crap, don't let it.

BatRastered2231d ago


The original interview article also stated that the DLC class will have an "opposite" skill tree to the one in question that will be more like a "hardcore" mode.

JD_Shadow2231d ago don't think the line was a dumbass one to say? Regardless of what this "mode" actually is, the term he used was just plain idiotic, and it implied something that he shouldn't have to begin with.

Flamebait article or not, bottom line is that this shows how sexist some of us still are in the gaming world.

TopDudeMan2232d ago

I don't think it's a bad idea. They just let slip some bad press and people will be up in arms about that, obviously. But they've denied the hell out of that being the name for it, so what else can they do?

da_2pacalypse2232d ago

I agree. People need to just calm down. This game will be great. I got the chance to play it at San Diego comic-con and it was a real blast. You wont be disappointed.

scotchmouth2232d ago

Preordered deluxe edition! Gonna be sweet

antz11042232d ago

I didnt get that at all from the article. Sounds like the lead designer was just misquoted.....or just made a really dumb comment depending on how you look at it.

Pitchford explained it out and Gearbox is a very fan oriented company in terms of what it provides for its fan base in the Borderlands series. I dont get why people like yourself are getting so worked up over this.

dragon_rocks2232d ago


If whatever is being added for casual gamers and does not in any way affect the features for hardcore/fan gamers then why does it matter to you? You are getting what you want so be happy with it. As a business they have to try and sell their game to all possible crowd to expand their fan base.

R_aVe_N2232d ago

well said dragon. If it does not effect you why complain right XD

wlchrbandit2232d ago

I couldn't agree more.

This mode is designed for people who don't play games often, like a girlfriend (or boyfriend), or friend who maybe sees you playing and think it looks fun. They can jump on and start developing skills that will help their inexperienced ass enjoy the game without getting frustrated at it's difficulty. Meanwhile you're able to continue playing at your own difficulty developing the skills you want..

It has no affect on the way you play at all.

ljh2172231d ago

I personally wouldn't call the skill OP until I've seen it in action, Gearbox aren't stupid and 'Girlfriend mode' sounds like their sense of humor from my many playthroughs of borderlands. It's clearly just a joke some extreme fans have taken to heart.

Tbh, as long as they find a way to completely stop modding without always connected DRM in the game I'll be a happy man!

LastDance2232d ago

Wow, what's the big deal.

I'm sick of political correctness.

Burackus2231d ago

Me to it's getting out of hand

Mr Scooch2225d ago

Too many people with too much time on their hands then see something that can be construed as slightly "controversial" and start shouting.
Whether the Designer was misquoted or not shouldn't make any difference. The term "Girlfriend Mode" was never meant as a derogatory statement, just that the majority of gamers are male and alot of those have girlfriends/ wives who don't play as much who may start playing more if the game were a little easier.
As for MikeCosgrove up there- They're not taking anything away from this game for hardcore gamers, just adding something for casual gamers. Stop being so angry!

palaeomerus2232d ago (Edited 2232d ago )

No. One skilltree of the new class is aimed at being more accessible for noobs and non FPS players.

If you read the actual Eurogamer article this is all reaction to then you'd have seen this:


"Hemingway told Eurogamer in an interview that he's thinking about using one of the Mechromancer's other skill trees as a counter point to the Best Friends Forever "girlfriend mode".

"Right now, I'm thinking of it as a hardcore mode. So if you are a really expert player, and you want to do some tricky, difficult things, this is the tree for you, for just a totally different experience. We're not ready to talk about it, because we have no idea if it's even going to pan out. But we've got some interesting ideas there."


BTW real adults don't have the time or energy to get this upset about "poor wording" of a "girl friend mode" for a noob friendly skill-tree. Anyone who is bothered by this should turn down their nerves a notch. The only people who would get THIS upset about such a small thing are cynical lawyers out for a buck, and lunatics.

Heartnet2232d ago

Then dont use this feature...

"focus on the fans you have?" they have done by making a borderlands 2 in the first place... how do you expect a company to grow if there doing the same fuking thing throughtout the whole series... no ambition :(

DarthJay2232d ago

Yeah!!!!! Why do these damn developers want to try to introduce their stupid games to people that may have otherwise never played it!!!! Shame on them!!!! They should only care about the core!!!! Screw the casuals!!!!! Clearly there is no purpose in ever appealing to anyone other than the fans Gearbox already has!!!!!


Shame on you for creating a mode I don't even have to play and may never even possibly or remotely impact my own gameplay!!!! I'M A REAL FAN OF THE FRANCHISE THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULD ONLY THINK ABOUT ME!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!


EyeGlitch2231d ago

Man... you're realy pissed!

DarthJay2231d ago

@EyeGlitch - no sure if serious... total sarcasm.

kesvalk2232d ago

i suck at a lot of games, this don't mean i don't like them, in fact most series that i sucked and now i a little better are games that started overly complicated and with new iterations of the series, they added new modes, tutorials and gameplay mechanics that are not relying on you needing to have a spreadsheet about stats, skills and whatnot...

making the game easier to get into is a great to way to create a more smooth learning curve...

it's like 80% of the Nintendo games, very easy to play, VERY HARD to master.

the only this could possibly conflict with is that will be way more harder to be "good" in the game, cutting by half the possibility of ppl flaunting their e-peens at everyone else face... which i think is a good thing.

Kaos_Vll2231d ago


another option that you don't even have to use and it bothers you? are you even a gamer? what's a real fan? if i spend my money on the same game as you does that not give me the same rights as you?

you should stop gaming, it doesn't seem to agree with you anymore.

LackTrue4K2231d ago

this just sounds like its a new skill tree. (mabe you didn't play 1) there was a lot of skill trees in Borderlands, so many it can give you a upper hand. Your making it sound like its a new mode or something?!?! ITS NOT,

"now your the one that sounding like your in GIRLFRIEND MODE"

Blacklash932231d ago (Edited 2231d ago )

I agree that this should be the actual issue here if it has to be anything, though being casual-friendly doesn't always mean it's not just as fun and won't be much more combat-effective for players who can use it expertly. Still marketing a DLC character as casual to gamers isn't very smart.

Lord_Sloth2231d ago

God forbid people aside from us enjoy a game at the cost of a mode that is completely optional and will in no way effect our actual experience when we don't use it.

ChronoJoe2231d ago

Only 1 skill tree is for casuals and pro-players can get application out of it, probably.

Like for instance if you couple it with insanely inaccurate weapons but also insanely powerful, you have a nice combo. You can use it to lay down effective suppressing fire whilst running away, not even looking at the enemy, maybe around a wall.

Good, experienced players will find inventive ways to use tools targeted at casuals to retain skill influenced gameplay.

Bedlam_at_lokis2230d ago

As a Casual gamer and Avid game watcher, I can understand where you are coming from, yet, adding a difficulty just for me was great. I won't play a game if it makes me break my equipment from rage. You cannot blame a company for trying to expand their niche. It was still a great game, take it for what it is, they are trying to expand the community.

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 2225d ago
GamingGuru2232d ago

That's convenient because I found this article to be the dumbest article ever.

Stop promoting sensationalist crap, this is the equivalent of an OK! article. The guy said something and it's being taken out of context. This isn't gender equality, let's please decide as a community not to make this a thing.

The guy said something that could be construed as something wrong when given to the news hungry. Don't rape someone over the coals because a guy who has dedicated his life to making entertaining content said something that can be stretched.

If anyone thinks that this isn't sensationalist crap I can only point to the title.

"Dumbest Move Ever"

I seriously doubt that.

IvyWinter2232d ago

Man, I think I was not nearly as angry at the guy as you seem to be over the article. I even pointed out that I'm not calling him sexist or anything, I'm saying as far as being smart when talking to the press, he was not. And clearly I'm not the only one who feels this way, if the topic is being talked about by tons of people on Twitter. I still stand by him making a dumb move in using those words. I'm certainly not "raping" him over it.

GamingGuru2232d ago

You're not but you are definitely contributing to it. The reason this type of stuff gets me mad because it has been happening so much as of late.

These are people, real people, they have feelings and family. What he said is perfectly fine and shouldn't be painted as anything sexist. Which you may or may not mean to do, but calling him dumb for typing up a comment does not help.

Here's a quote from your article.

"It implies that women and incompetence in gaming go hand in hand, which in this day and age, we should all know isn’t true."

If that doesn't imply sexism I don't know what does.

I don't hate you, everyone makes mistakes and that's just human. But you should seriously think about what you are contributing to when writing this stuff. This is a person, the internet has a habit of painting people as 2d cartoon characters, we should do better.

Again, don't hate you, but I really hate your article.

Christopher2232d ago

Yeah. I find it weird that you comment on him being more cognizant of how he responds when being interviewed but don't realize that you did the same thing in your writing.

JD_Shadow2231d ago

Actually, Guru, I think it's you that needs to answer a few things.

Even if this guy was right about the mode and all of that, what in any of that excuses this as being an okay comment?

The author is trying to convey here that the guy that made the comment made that under the impression that women do not play games like Borderlands 2 or other "hardcore" games that men play. He was generalizing an entire demographic of gamers when we SHOULD know that isn't true, and he shouldn't have even THOUGHT about uttering that line. And since people on N4G love to kneejerk and foam at the mouth about EVERYTHING that invades how they think about the world, they come out in full force here (probably the only time that they are worse is when they see a console jailbreaking article...holy shit, you should see it hit the fan then) without understanding the author's complaint.

Or maybe they do and don't care. As I've said before, we've forgotten how sexist we can still be. How many times have we generalized women with things like shovelware or Facebook games. Hell, I know women who can kick your ass him Call of Duty, WoW, or other more involved, hardcore games that we males play. Perhaps they react this way because they know she has a point (which she does: this idiot who said that shitty line needs to make an apology himself...maybe he's the person who thought that it was a great idea to try to actually release Duke Nukem Forever), and they don't want to admit how right she is about a lot of things.

Let me ask you, then, to put your money where your name is. Do you think women can be prominent gamers, too? Is the reason you're so uptight about this article is because you know there's truth behind it?

MrJack2232231d ago

Oh please. People need to not get their panties in a bunch. People just LOVE getting offended over every single trivial comment posted on the internets.

No seriosly people. Get a grip.

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IvyWinter2232d ago

You can certainly hate my article and thats fine.And I understand the man has feelings, and so do gamers.

And yes, what he said IMPLIES sexism. That's what I said. It doesn't mean i'm saying he is, in fact, sexist. I'm saying he made a dumb move by saying something that, in those very words, implies the incompetence of women in games. And that he should have picked a better choice of words or this uproar wouldn't have happened in the first place.

Tenac872232d ago

I have just one thing to say.. Since GamingGuru has said pretty much everything that needs to be said already. People need to calm down about Sexism, Racism, ETC. (Please don't take that the wrong way, Both of which are still very serious matters.) Basically all I am trying to say is that you can't say anything anymore without someone yelling out "THAT'S RACIST!" or "THAT'S SEXIST!" when 90% of the time it really is not.. I can't help but feel like people who scream about how everything is Racist or Sexist, Are in fact, The Racists and Sexist ones. because there the ones who automatically see it as Racist or Sexist.

Instead of making huge deals about one guy saying something that could be interpreted as Sexist when it was clearly not meant to be. Why can't we find the people who are actually being Sexist or Racist and raise awareness towards them? Would that not be a better use of our time? And would that not actually make a difference in the world? Instead of teaching one not sexist person to not be sexist, We try and teach an actual sexist person to not be sexist?

And one more thing. My girlfriend loves to game with me, But she is pretty terrible at games. (I'm not just saying that, even she thinks so)So something like this is wonderful for us. And a "girlfriend mode" fits the description well for us. (Again, She agrees whole hardheartedly with this) Now looking at it from our Perspective, I hope you can see why a "girlfriend mode" may be a little suitable to this class. And Perhaps John Hemingway had the same experience before as I and my Girlfriend have? And that's why he referred to it as Girlfriend mode? Not because he is sexist, But because to him, This is something he could use with his Girlfriend (Who is now his wife) Or could of used with one of his earlier girlfriends? You dig? he was not being sexist. This is just how he saw it through his eyes.

You see it differently? You are, Or know plenty of women who kick ass at games as Do i? Well that's great too! And that's why they did not actually call it "Girlfriend Mode" Because that does not apply to everyone. But to me, and John Hemingway and lots of other people, We can totally see what he was getting at.

antz11042232d ago

Your view Ivy is the problem with gaming today: people looking for problems when there aren't any.

These same ppl screaming "sexist!" from the rafters are the same ones that will be lining up September 18th to buy it. I think you all need to come down off your high horse and just enjoy the game.

Christopher2232d ago (Edited 2232d ago )

I don't think it implies sexism. It implies that his girlfriend and many others like her don't play these games and that the skill tree will help with people who can't play FPSs well.

I think you also missed that it implies that he wants to play this game with his girlfriend.

HammadTheBeast2231d ago

If he had said "Boyfriend Mode", I doubt this article would even exist. What, sexism only works for females?

Celeras2231d ago

Not only was the comment harmless, but he always went through special lengths to EXPLAIN it's harmlessness before he even said it.

"This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters."

You know, like somebodies girlfriend who has no interest in videogames.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2231d ago
Chuk52232d ago (Edited 2232d ago )

I think it was a sexist comment to make when taken at face value. But taken in the entire context of his explanation, I don't think it has malicious intent. His explanation of Best friend's skill tree (which isn't actually named the girlfriend mode):

"This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That’s what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is,”

There's good intent there, just a poor choice of phrasing. I think some of the backlash, some going as far as to claim it's lost their $60 is a bit of an overreaction. I would save that reaction for the stuff going in tomb raider, which is getting a little shady. But this was a comment, that probably doesn't even reflect the views of all the staff.

brettyd2232d ago

People are way too sensitive.

Saryk2232d ago

Way too sensitive and way too much time on their hands.

sjaakiejj2232d ago

Completely agree, and I completely see where he's coming from too.

Girls tend to be more casual gamers, guys tend to be more hardcore about it - it's a bit of a generalisation, but nowhere did he imply that all girls are bad at First Person Shooters.

If that wasn't the case, then I wonder where the comments "Guys should pay more attention to their girlfriends instead of playing games" come from.. lol.

LackTrue4K2231d ago

the writer sounds like he's "in girlfriend mode"