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|Born||Randall S. Pitchford II
April 21, 1971
|Occupation||President, CEO, and co-founder of Gearbox Software|
Randall S. "Randy" Pitchford II (born April 21, 1971) is one of the founders of video game developer Gearbox Software and currently the CEO and president of the company.
He wrote his first game (a 16-room text adventure) when he was about 11 or 12 on a CPM machine that his father built. Pitchford stated that he played Colossal Cave Adventure and was enamored by the game that he used a hex editor to examine the code and partially figured out some of the programming concepts behind it. When a BASIC version of the game was released, he was able to review the source code directly, allowing him to determine how to construct his own text adventures, leading him into game development.
Pitchford had a long professional background in the production and design of 3D games including work on Apogee Software/3D Realms Entertainment's "Atomic" edition for Duke Nukem 3D, and Shadow Warrior. He left the company in May 1997 to work on Prax War at Rebel Boat Rocker. The game was never released and he helped found Gearbox Software LLC in Texas in January 1999.
Pitchford accepted the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences award for best PC Action Game in 2000 for his production and direction of Gearbox's debut title, Half-Life: Opposing Force. Since then, Pitchford's company has been involved in the development and production of Half-Life for Dreamcast (cancelled), Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life for PlayStation 2, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, James Bond 007: Nightfire for Microsoft Windows, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for Windows, Halo: Combat Evolved for PC.
In 2005, Randy Directed and Produced the Brothers in Arms series, Gearbox's first, original IP, to launch with critical acclaim and marketplace success. Next, Randy led the creation of the Borderlands series (which is the most successful gaming series by Gearbox Software).
In 2010, after the closure of 3D Realms, Gearbox bought the Duke Nukem IP and rescued 3D Realms' Duke Nukem Forever from legendary development hell, releasing it in 2011. Prior to founding Gearbox, Pitchford's first commercial video game product was when he joined the Duke Nukem 3D team at 3D Realms in the mid 1990s. In 2013, Randy led Gearbox to buy the "Homeworld" IP during an auction of THQ's assets and in 2015 released Homeworld: Remastered Collection to critical acclaim and topping the charts on Steam. The Homeworld franchise was launched by publisher Sierra in the same period that Gearbox's first commercial video game, Half-Life: Opposing Force, was also launched by publisher Sierra.
Gearbox's newest original IP, Battleborn, with Randy as Executive Producer and studio head and developed internally at Gearbox Software by many key members of the Borderlands team, released on May 3, 2016.
At PAX West 2016, Pitchford bizarrely took out his guitar before the Gearbox panel and proceeded to sing a song about "bigots" in the gaming industry. The result was a lacklustre audience response and the clip of his performance going viral.
In 2013, Pitchford pledged $25,000 US to Penn Jillette and Adam Rifkin's crowdfunded film Director's Cut. In return for pledging, Pitchford received an executive producer credit as well as Jillette's ponytail.
- Taylor, William (May 16, 2016). "Inspirational magic: Frisco video game creator Randy Pitchford loves illusions". Frisco Enterprise. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
- Walker, Alex (September 7, 2016). "Randy Pitchford Decided To Sing About Bigots At PAX". Kotaku. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
- Plunkett, Luke (2013-10-22). "Gearbox Boss Buys...Penn's Ponytail. For Real.". Kotaku. Retrieved 2016-07-22.