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Gearbox Software, LLC is a video game development company known for their work on Counter-Strike: Condition Zero.



Gearbox Software was founded on February 16, 1999 by former Rebel Boat Rocker employees Randy Pitchford, Brian Martel, Stephen Bahl, Landon Montgomery and Rob Hieronimous.[1][2][3] The content team left Rebel Boat Rocker after Prax Wars, the game the company had been developing, was been cancelled as they felt they had matured beyond the attitude of the company.[4]

First project from Valve

Coming fresh from the experience of having a big project cancelled, the newly founded Gearbox team decided that they did not want to build a completely new game and that a smaller project such as an add-on pack would be the optimal choice as a first project.[4]

After considering potential projects, they decided that working on Half-Life would be the best choice and they were going to approach Valve Software on the subject.[5] However, through various previous industry acquaintances, word of what Gearbox Software was doing had already reached the ears of Gabe Newell.[4] Thus, Gabe called Randy before Gearbox even had the chance to contact Valve and offered him the very same project that had been talked about internally and development on Half-Life: Opposing Force commenced.[5]

Developing Condition Zero

During the various projects that Gearbox Software worked on together with Valve Software, Randy Pitchford had brought up the possibility of working on a Counter-Strike related project.[6] In May 2000, Gearbox Software had been briefly involved with the Counter-Strike community by releasing a custom map for the game and hosting a pair of game servers.[7] However, since Gearbox Software had other projects under development they did not have the capacity needed to undertake the project of developing a Counter-Strike title.[6]

This changed in late May 2001 when Gearbox Software had recently finished Half-Life: Blue Shift and were wrapping up work on the Playstation 2 port of Half-Life.[8][9][10] The capacity to tackle a Counter-Strike sized project was becoming available and an agreement was quickly reached whereby further development on Counter-Strike: Condition Zero would be headed by Gearbox Software.[10]

Initially, Gearbox Software decided for an arcade-inspired single-player experience that took influence from various console games.[11] However, in April 2002 it was announced that a new single-player experience had been designed for the game and this was revealed in May to be a very traditional linear shooter type experience complete with cutscenes and scripted sequences.[12][9]

Fallout with Valve

Unbeknownst to the public at the time, Gearbox Software ceased development on Condition Zero in July 2002.[13] The official reason given in December 2002 by Pitchford simply indicated a desire to focus on newer technology,[13] but neither company issued statements detailing the reasons for Gearbox Software leaving the project.[14]

However, in a later interview Pitchford expressed his disappointment in the lack of creative control given by Valve during the development of Condition Zero.[4] This was likely a reference to the decision to redesign the single-player experience to a traditional linear shooter, a decision that is though to have originated from Valve Software.[15] Pitchford previously stated that Gearbox did not want to turn Condition Zero into a traditional shooter as the company already had plenty of experience with such titles, thus the approach would have been boring for them.[16] Also, Gearbox Software had received the project of developing the PC port of Halo only weeks earlier,[17] therefore it was a very opportune time for them to leave the Condition Zero project.

Going solo

Since the failed collaboration on Condition Zero, Gearbox Software and Valve Software have not worked together on any projects. In 2005, Gearbox Software launched their first original title, Brothers in Arms. They have also worked on numerous other titles including the Aliens and Duke Nukem series and Borderlands.


  • 1999 – Half-Life: Opposing Force
  • 2001 – Half-Life: Blue Shift
  • 2001 – Half-Life: Decay
  • 2001 – Half-Life (Playstation 2 version)
  • 2002 – Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
  • 2002 – Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (never published, development restarted by Ritual Entertainment)
  • 2002 – James Bond 007: Nightfire
  • 2003 – Halo: Combat Evolved (Microsoft Windows version)
  • 2005 – Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
  • 2005 – Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood
  • 2006 – Brothers in Arms: D-Day
  • 2007 – Brothers in Arms DS
  • 2008 – Samba de Amigo
  • 2008 – Brothers in Arms: Double Time
  • 2008 – Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
  • 2009 – Borderlands
  • 2011 – Duke Nukem Forever
  • 2011 – Aliens: Infestation
  • 2012 – Borderlands 2
  • 2012 – Borderlands Legends
  • 2013 – Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • 2014 – Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
  • 2015 – Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
  • 2015 – Homeworld Remastered Collection
  • 2016 – Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
  • 2016 – Battleborn
  • 2016 – Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour
  • 2017 – Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition


  1. Faylor, Chris (2012-02-16). "Celebrating Our 13th Anniversary". The Gearbox Software Forums. Archived from the original on 2012-11-24. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  2. Keefer, John (2006-03-31). "GameSpy Retro: Developer Origins - Page 6". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2006-04-08. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  3. gamesTM (2015-10-22). "Gearing up for battle with Randy Pitchford". gamesTM. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 FuryX (2003-09-05). "Gearbox interview (En)". Belgian Webgaming Forever. Archived from the original on 2003-10-26. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ramsay, Gareth (2002-02-26) "Shifting up a gear: Randy Pitchford Interview". Archived from the original on 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harris, Tricia (2001-10-04). "Counter-Strike: Condition Zero - Pipeline Preview". Games Domain. Archived from the original on 2001-12-04. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  7. Pitchford, Randy (2000-05-03). ".plan Update by Randy Pitchford (Programmer at Gearbox Software) on May 3 2000, 19:00:16 (ET)". .plan File for Randy Pitchford. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  8. Ajami, Amer (2001-05-19). "E3 2001: Half-Life: Blue Shift goes gold". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Aihoshi, Richard (2002-06-05). "Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Interview". Action Vault. Archived from the original on 2002-08-02. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Konda, Martin (2001-10-31). "PC Preview: Counter-Strike: Condition Zero". Archived from the original on 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  11. Ham, Tom (2001-12-15). "Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Revisited (PC)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2002-02-01. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  12. Laprad, David (2002-04-29). "Condition Zero Update". The Adrenaline Vault. Archived from the original on 2002-06-03. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Pitchford, Randy (2002-12-06). ".plan Update by Randy Pitchford (Programmer at Gearbox Software) on Dec 6 2002, 20:37:41 (ET)". .plan File for Randy Pitchford. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  14. 1UP Staff. "What's Up with Condition Zero?". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  15. Gibson, Steve (2002-12-30). "Counter-Strike: Condition Zero". Shacknews. Archived from the original on 2003-01-27. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  16. GameSpot (2002-03-25). Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Video Interview. CNET Networks, Inc.
  17. Parker, Sam (2002-12-22). "Halo PC update". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-06-08.

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