Borderlands 3 Director Reveals Why Handsome Jack Isn’t Coming Back

It’s been five years since fans have gotten a mainline Borderlands video game, though Gearbox Software is preparing to change that in a couple weeks when the highly anticipated Borderlands 3 finally arrives. The studio has already detailed plenty of information on the game including new features like instancing, player traversal, as well as end game content from Mayhem Mode to the Circle of Slaughter. However, one question that keeps popping up from fans involves one of the series’ beloved antagonists.

In a recent interview at Gamescom 2019, Borderlands 3 creative director Paul Sage was asked about a potential return for the iconic Borderlands 2 villain Handsome Jack. Sage revealed that the studio knew there’d be a big response to seeing Jack return, but bringing him back would essentially undermine everything that happened in Borderlands 2. Ultimately, the team decided to move on as the ending to Borderlands 2 felt pretty definitive in terms of Jack’s fate.

So yeah, Jack’s gone. Don’t expect him to be back.

While the studio has previously confirmed that Handsome Jack is dead and not coming back, it appears that the tone the villain set for the franchise will be retained by the Tyreen and Troy Calypso for Borderlands 3. Not much is known about these twin antagonists outside of the fact that they control a cult known as the Children of the Vault. Tyreen also appears to be one of the six Sirens in the universe and both twins have a flair for the dramatic, being modeled after annoying and obnoxious online streamers.

Of course, Handsome Jack’s story didn’t quite end with Borderlands 2. Not only was the villain made into a playable class for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, but he also had a major story arc inside of Telltale Games spin-off Tales from the Borderlands. However unlikely it is, Gearbox could always throw in a Jack cameo or a nod to the fact that his digital AI merged with the Borderlands 3 NPC Rhys for a brief time. At the very least, fans could get another look at the villain down the road if Borderlands 3 co-lead writer Sam Winkler gets his wish and is able to craft a second season of Tales from the Borderlands.

Borderlands 3 launches on September 13 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.

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