Borderlands 3: Original Claptrap Voice Actor Makes Serious Accusations Against Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford
David Eddings speaks up.
Update: Eddings posted on Twitter today to offer more details on the matter. He said he's heard from Gearbox that the studio is taking his claim "very seriously." He added that he is eager to cooperate any investigation that Gearbox or 2K launches into "Randy's misdeeds." In another tweet, Eddings said he informed Gearbox HR about the alleged assault on the morning of Monday, March 6, 2017. "Randy fired me the next day," Eddings says.
David Eddings, the original voice actor for Claptrap from the Borderlands series who isn't returning for Borderlands 3, has shared some new insight into the situation--and it is dramatic. After Randy Pitchford, the CEO of Borderlands developer Gearbox Software, called him "bitter and disgruntled," Eddings spoke up again today. He shared his side of the story, which includes a claim that Pitchford physically assaulted him in a hotel lobby at the Game Developers Conference in 2017.
"I was fine moving on after Gearbox," he said. "But when my former boss starts mouthing off about various aspects of my employment, including 'how highly compensated' I was and how 'generous' he is, I feel obligated to correct the record."
In the Twitter thread, Eddings said he had "mixed feelings" when Gearbox asked him in 2018 if he would come back to voice Claptrap for Borderlands 3. He said he was willing to "put differences aside and do something cool for Borderlands fans with my friends at Gearbox."
Eddings said he offered to do the Borderlands 3 voicework for "free" in exchange for Gearbox paying him past royalties for his work doing the voice of Claptrap in the previous Borderlands titles. As reported previously, Eddings did the voicework for Claptrap on Borderlands 1 and 2 when he was an employee at Gearbox, so he did not draw any additional payment.
Eddings also brought up a significant claim against Pitchford: that Pitchford assaulted him in 2017. Eddings said Pitchford "physically assaulted me" in a hotel lobby during GDC 2017. The alleged misconduct reportedly took place at the Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown San Francisco. The situation surrounding the alleged assault is unclear, and Eddings did not say if he filed a police report. Whatever the case, Eddings said he offered to do the voicework for Claptrap in Borderlands 3 if Gearbox gave him the requested backpay and an apology for the reported assault. It appears that didn't happen.
"Personally, I think Randy's been on the tilt the last few years. He's not the victim he portrays himself to be. I even blocked him a couple years ago for stalking me on social media. Enough is enough," Eddings said.
He went on to mention again the reported $12 million that Pitchford is alleged in a lawsuit to have received as a secret bonus paid to him instead of going to the Gearbox development team's bonus pool. Eddings said it was "conspicuous" that Pitchford would talk about Edding's salary but not mention the alleged $12 million payment that, in Eddings' words, Pitchford "siphoned away from the employee royalty pool." Eddings added, "Gearbox employees are asked to take lower salaries with the promise of royalty shares."
2K Games, the publisher of Borderlands 3, has not publicly commented on the lawsuit in question, which was filed by a former Gearbox lawyer at the tail end of 2018. 2K Games is owned by Take-Two Interactive, which handles the legal matters for its subsidiaries.
Here is Eddings' full Twitter thread on the subject:
I was fine moving on after Gearbox. But when my former boss starts mouthing off about various aspects of my employment including “how highly compensated” I was and how “generous” he is, I feel obligated to correct the record.— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 7, 2019
I had a lot of mixed feelings when asked to reprise the role of Claptrap late last year and eventually realized I was willing to put differences aside and do something cool for Borderlands fans with my friends at Gearbox.— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 7, 2019
I ultimately offered to do it for “free” in exchange for past royalties owed plus an apology for something I’ve never spoken about publicly until now: Randy physically assaulted me in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis at GDC 2017.— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 7, 2019
Personally, I think Randy’s been on tilt the last few years. He's not the victim he portrays himself to be. I even blocked him a couple years ago for stalking me on social media. Enough is enough.— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 7, 2019
It's nice not feeling the need to spot any sleight of hand these days or wonder if the card was chosen or forced. I'm happy to be free from the half-truths and full-on deceptions. And thankful to no longer hear people referred to as "muggles" like a con-man refers to a "mark".— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 7, 2019
As an aside, seems a bit conspicuous that he chimed in on my salary but didn't mention anything about the $12M of revenue he siphoned away from the employee royalty pool. FYI - GBX employees are asked to take lower salaries with the promise of royalty shares.— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 7, 2019
2K says they won't give a statement regarding an ongoing lawsuit but if the allegation is false then it sure seems a lot easier to just deny it since that's the only reason they're mentioned. The whole thing stinks.— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 7, 2019
Eddings was a decade-plus executive veteran at Gearbox. According to Pitchford, Eddings was terminated, but the specifics surrounding his departure from Gearbox are unclear. Whatever the case, Eddings appears to be directing his misgivings solely at Pitchford. He says Gearbox is "full of amazingly talented game developers," adding that it's unfair to blame the developers "for the actions of one person."
Nah man -- Gearbox is full of amazingly talented game developers. It's not fair to blame the employees for the actions of one person. Be kind. They're the ones forced to cringe and bear it every time the boss shoots himself in the foot.— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 5, 2019
According to Pitchford, Eddings was paid "handsomely" during his time at Gearbox. And regarding the invitation to return as Claptrap in Borderlands 3, Pitchord said Gearbox offered him two times the standard union voice acting rate, which Eddings refused for the reasons mentioned above.
Pitchford has yet to respond to Eddings' comments today. GameSpot has contacted 2K Games in an attempt to get more details. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.
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