Borderlands hasn't been cloned yet, even though "the formula's right there."
"I'm actually astonished that we're about to launch a sequel and no one's stole it from us," Pitchford tells Gamasutra. "The formula's right there. No one's stolen it yet. That's weird. We're in an industry where people do nothing but steal from each other."
The formula, for those who haven't picked it up yet, is [(first-person + shooter y) x (console) / (PC)], where y = a rotating variation of loot, guns and XP. Even though that super-secret formula is now public, Pitchford isn't inviting people to steal it from Gearbox.
"Not that I want anyone to steal it, or I'm challenging people to steal it," he says. "When talking about Borderlands 1, it was really confusing, because on one hand we gotta scream from the highest mountain to get attention because it's a new IP. On the other hand, it's like, 'Shit, we don't want to tell people our secret because then they're all gonna copy it because it's so good.'"
Ah, we see the root of Pitchford's perspective now. If Gearbox worried people would copy Borderlands because "it's so good," and no one has copied it, Pitchford might take that as an insult. Don't worry, Gearbox – the right people know that Borderlands is a great game, and it's entirely possible that no one at Zynga has played it yet.