In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford revealed his surprise that no one else has copied the Borderlands formula yet and explained why they decided not to create a game like Call of Duty:
If EA were to get a game that is almost the same kind of pitch, basically, as Call of Duty, but outsells it, I think that probably would feel good to the EA guys.
But to do that, you really have to put in a lot. You have to really go for it and spend a lot. You have to basically not only out-brute force the market leader, but you have to out-clever them. The game has to be better. The marketing and production effort -- everything has to be bigger and better, and then you might kind of match or come close.
...I think it's a saner approach to bring things to people that they haven't seen before and they don't have alternatives for.
If you're the only ones that do something that people find as valuable? You don't have to worry about competition. Like, Borderlands has zero competition. It doesn't have to worry about that at all.
I would argue that Dead Island follows the Borderlands formula despite it emphasizing survival and melee weapons, and really, the Borderlands idea comes from the general grinding formula of Diablo. For four-player cooperative modes, a few rounds of Mass Effect 3 multiplayer fits the bill nicely.
But if it's seen strictly as a four-player cooperative FPS RPG, then it's true—Borderlands 2 has little to no competition. It remains one of my most anticipated titles this year, and I've already blocked out several weeks in September after its release date on the 18th. (GR Community playdate?)