Borderlands SciencePlayers Completed 36 Million Puzzles In First Month

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Borderlands SciencePlayers Completed 36 Million Puzzles In First Month

More than 700,000 players from the Borderlands 3 community are helping map the human gut biome by completing an average of 1.2 million puzzles per day

Borderlands Science – a mini-game within Gearbox Software and 2K’s best-selling, critically acclaimed video game Borderlands 3that contributes to real world biomedical studies has seen players solve 36 million puzzles, with more than 700,000 individual players from the larger Borderlands 3 community solving an average of 1.2 million puzzles per day since the program launched on April 7. Borderlands Science continues to grow, with nearly a quarter of a million new players joining within the last two weeks.

“Video game players are now contributing to real world science,” said Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford. “Borderlands 3 players have demonstrated the power of gamers to solve complex problems useful to medical progress and have fun doing it. The dream that through playing a video game a scientific advancement can be made is now closer to becoming a reality.”

Borderlands Science encodes the DNA of gut microbes as strings of bricks composed of four different shapes and colors. Players connect those colored shapes to help scientists estimate the degree of similarity between each microbe. The more puzzles players solve, the more they help decode the human gut microbiome, all while earning rewards that can be used in Borderlands 3. A brief video featuring Dr. Mayim Bialik explaining Borderlands Science can be found here.

Since launch, Borderlands Science has reached the following significant milestones:

  • Players solved more than 36 million puzzles;
  • On average, players completed 1.2 million puzzles per day;
  • Participation from more than 700,000 players from the larger Borderlands 3 player base;
  • Borderlands Science continues to grow with nearly 250,000 new players in the last two weeks;
  • Overall, players dedicated more than 86 total years of playtime to mapping the human gut microbiome.

This major initiative is the result of international partnerships with researchers and scientists at McGill University, Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), and The Microsetta Initiative at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

“Thank you to the Borderlands community for advancing scientific research,” said Massively Multiplayer Online Science CEO and co-founder Attila Szantner. “We had a huge player base during these first weeks, and we hope that this success will entice additional AAA titles to include citizen science projects in their games.”

“Most players are curious how they are helping science while they are having such an enjoyable experience with the mini-game,” said McGill University professor Jérôme Waldispühl. “By completing such simple tasks, players are actually helping us more proficiently train artificial intelligence algorithms to align sequences based on what seems right to most humans. This sounds simple, but it requires a lot of data, and could not be completed at this scale until a AAA game developer like Gearbox embraced such a project.”

To learn more about the Borderlands Science project, visit Borderlands Science online or

2K is a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).

All trademarks and copyrights contained herein are the property of their respective holders.

About Gearbox Software

Gearbox Software is a Frisco, Texas-based award-winning, independent developer of interactive entertainment. It was founded in 1999 by game industry veterans, and its first release was Half-Life: Opposing Force. Since then, the company has become known for successful game franchises including Borderlands, Brothers in Arms, and Battleborn, as well as acquired properties Duke Nukem and Homeworld. For more information, visit

About Take-Two Interactive Software

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe.  We develop and publish products through our labels Rockstar Games, 2K, and Private Division, as well as Social Point, a leading developer of mobile games.  Our products are designed for console systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, and are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services.  The Company’s common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO.  For more corporate and product information please visit our website at

About 2K

Founded in 2005, 2K develops and publishes global interactive entertainment for console and handheld gaming systems, personal computers and mobile devices, with product availability including physical retail and digital download. The Company is home to many talented development studios, including Visual Concepts, Firaxis Games, Hangar 13, Cat Daddy Games, 31st Union and Cloud Chamber. 2K’s portfolio currently includes the renowned BioShock®, Borderlands™, Mafia and XCOM® franchises; NBA® 2K, the global phenomenon and highest rated* annual sports title for the current console generation; the critically acclaimed Sid Meier’s Civilization® series; the popular WWE® 2K and WWE® SuperCard franchises, as well as emerging properties NBA® 2K Playgrounds 2, Carnival Games and more. Additional information about 2K and its products may be found at

About McGill University

Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university. McGill is consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning with research activities spanning two campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,800 international students making up 31% of the student body. Over half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 19% of our students who say French is their mother tongue.

About MMOS

MMOS (Massively Multiplayer Online Science) is a Swiss start-up focusing on bringing citizen science activities to AAA videogames; setting up collaborations and providing the necessary infrastructure to connect these two worlds. MMOS together with CCP, the Human Protein Atlas and the University of Geneva created Project Discovery, the citizen science minigame inside EVE Online acclaimed by an extensive worldwide press coverage and winning several awards. For more information visit

About The Microsetta Initiative

Established in 2018 as a global extension of UC San Diego’s American Gut Project, The Microsetta Initiative (TMI) aims to allow anyone in the world to participate in microbiome citizen science. To date, the collective projects of TMI have DNA sequenced over 25,000 samples from more than 20,000 participants, and is the largest open-access human microbiome reference database. The de-identified data generated so far have been used in over 100 peer reviewed publications, helping researchers to better understand migraines, depression, how fermented foods modify your gut, and have even provided a backdrop to predict age from poop.

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