It's a sad day for Pandora as Borderlands' creator and franchise director Matthew Armstrong announced that he's parting ways with Gearbox Software.

2015 has been filled with ups and downs for the Borderlands franchise. While Borderlands 2, The Pre-Sequel and the new Handsome Jack Collection have all been successful, the studios behind the series have each experienced their own setbacks over the past few months. In the beginning of the year, Borderlands 2 writer Anthony Burch, of Hey Ash Whatcha Playin' fame, announced that he was leaving the company. Just last week, we reported that 2K Australia, the studio that developed Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, was closing after an impressive showing with Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, which combined Borderlands 2 with The Pre-Sequel. Armstrong's departure comes as a shock since he invented the franchise and directed much of the content from its sequels.

Here's what Armstrong said to Game Informer:

Pre-Sequel, Claptastic Voyage, and Handsome collection all shipped.  In a rare moment, I was temporarily non-vital. I could leave without damaging Borderland or Gearbox too much if I did it at this moment, so now was the time. I think Gearbox will do great in the future, and I think Borderlands will stay strong and awesome. I've been thinking about it for a while.  I'm not quitting out of anger or getting fired.  It's just time for new adventures. I'm an inventor. I'm ready to make something new. Not just new to me, but new to everyone.

Sources indicate that Gearbox has Borderlands 3 in the early stages of development for current-gen consoles (which could be why 2K Australia was hired to make The Pre-Sequel, so they could focus on it). Then again, Armstrong and Burch may have left before the studio got serious about working on Borderlands 3. Could ongoing pressure from 2K be one of the influences in the closing of 2K Australia along with Burch and Armstrong's departures? Here's to hoping Gearbox can bounce back from these setbacks.