Update: If you're wondering how to acquire shift codes or golden keys for Borderlands 2, just head on over to this article.
The Borderlands 2 online instruction manual popped up on Steam a few weeks back, only to be deleted within hours. As it turns out, its text hides mentions of "Gearbox Shift" and "Shift Codes," which players will encounter when the game officially launches next week.
Gearbox Software Shift is described as an online account service, where players can "redeem Shift Codes to unlock exclusive content for Borderlands 2." The manual goes one further by hinting at a Golden Loot Chest in the game whose contents are "only available through something called a 'Shift Code.'"
Elsewhere, the codes in question are referred to as "Gearbox Software Shift Codes," rather than specifically for Borderlands 2, implying that other Gearbox titles may become part of this infrastructure. So far, no related web site exists for sign-ups, and other details about potential Shift features haven't yet been posted; while it may resemble third-party in-game reward services like Ubisoft's U-Play, it could also resemble the Gearbox Labs data accumulation service.
"Attending a Gearbox event is just one example of the many ways we could possibly distribute such codes. I can't imagine us limiting distribution to physical proximity, especially with such a passionate community located all throughout the world."
As of press time, requests for comment and clarification on the service have yet to be answered by 2K Games representatives.
We've been informed that Gearbox shift allows the studio to distribute in-game digital material like "golden keys", publish news updates, and allow fans to interact with each other. The developer has not yet revealed any plans to integrate the system into future games, but it will be available and likely will be integrated into others.
Developed by Gearbox, Borderlands 2 is slated for release on September 18 in the US for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.