Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford Accused Of Contempt In Latest Court Filing

Gearbox continues to be embroiled in legal disputes ahead of Borderlands 3's release.

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Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford continues to be embroiled in legal disputes stemming from a host of allegations made against him over the past few months. Wade Callender, Gearbox's former legal counsel, filed a motion on Tuesday in Dallas County (Texas) district court for contempt and requested sanctions against Gearbox, alleging "discovery abuse" and failure to produce certain court-ordered documents.

This is the latest filing in a lengthy legal battle between Pitchford and Callender. It started with a filing by Gearbox in November 2018, alleging that Callender "exploit[ed] Gearbox’s generosity and trust for his own personal gain." Callender responded with a countersuit a month later, accusing the Gearbox CEO of harassing the company's former general counsel because of his Christian faith. The suit also accused Pitchford of taking a "secret" $12 million bonus as an advance on royalties, and of syphoning profits from Gearbox to fund "Peacock Parties" where adult male guests "reportedly exposed themselves to minors, to the amusement of Randy Pitchford." There was also the USB drive Pitchford left in a Texas restaurant allegedly containing sensitive corporate information from the studio and its business partners--such as 2K Games, Take-Two Interactive, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft--as well as "underage pornography." Ten days after the filing, Gearbox sued Callender for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

"Callender believes he can prove that GBX (Gearbox), and their lawyers, continue to violate this Court’s order and hide documents," the most recent filing reads. "Enough is enough and GBX needs to be held in contempt and sanctioned for this behavior." This follows months of back-and-forth legal disputes between the two parties. Callender served Gearbox with a set of eight interrogatories in February of this year, which the Borderlands developer responded to in March with a one-page document. Callender claimed a deficiency in this response and requested an amendment. After a week with no response, Callender filed a motion to compel Gearbox to respond to the deficiency letter. Gearbox agreed to provide amended interrogatory responses by July 3, but a later 30-day extension pushed this back to August 2.

When the latest deadline arrived, Gearbox provided their response, which included text correspondence between Pitchford and a "member of the press that he had podcast with" in which the two discuss the aforementioned USB drive. Pitchford appeared on the December 22 episode of the Piff Pod podcast one day after Callender's suit was filed. During the conversation with comedian and fellow magician, host John van der Put, Pitchford mentioned the USB drive contained "barely legal pornography."

"In response to 'Is the USB stick falling out or has the internet moved on now?', Pitchford replied 'Internet is fine. All they care about is if my next video game is good or not.' It comes as no surprise that GBX did not want to disclose this very telling document," the latest filing claims.

The allegations claim the USB stick was discovered at a Medieval Times restaurant in 2014, in a location a stone's throw away from Gearbox's Plano, Texas, headquarters. During this time, Callender and other Gearbox counsel were mediating the Aliens: Colonial Marines class-action; another case where Pitchford's conduct has been controversial. Earlier this year, Pitchford was involved in another dispute with former Gearbox vice president (and the original voice of Borderlands' Claptrap), David Eddings. After Pitchford called him "bitter and disgruntled," Eddings spoke up and accused the Gearbox CEO of physically assaulting him in a hotel lobby during GDC 2017, along with numerous other allegations.

On Monday, ahead of Callender's official filing, the Dallas County Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Gearbox's request for relief. The company claimed the "trial court abused its discretion by overruling numerous objections to requests for production of documents and compelling production of certain documents." The appellate court stated that Gearbox "have not shown they are entitled to the relief requested."

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ChrisAnetkaC

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Interesting. It sounds like those guys are not only making Borderlands but living it.

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Sound_Demon

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This guy is gonna be kicked out at the next shareholders meeting/conference. He's stirred up so much negative PR that no amount of d!ck sucking is gonna get him back his spot.

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thingta42

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Gearbox is guilty unless proven innocent..The Law? I AM THE LAW!!

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brxricano

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LOLOL so close...the explosion is so ready.

2 • 
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Sudd3n_Entr0py

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Gearbox is Randy until proven even more guilty.

2 • 
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Jinzo_111887

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This guy just keeps begging for trouble. I wonder if he'll decide to push his luck even further by violating the exclusivity with Epic the day after launch.

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IllusivePickledOnionMan

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First the epic store, then randy's twitter shenanigans, then all of the sjw bullshit regarding flak and now this. My hype for bl3 kind of outweighed everything else at first but they just keep digging their own grave and every time some new crap related to the company or randy surfaces the more and more i feel like cancelling my preorder and not even bothering to get the game.

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bluzima

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@illusivepickledonionman: I don't know why people let political bullshit like this affect their choice in video game. It's not like Pitchford puts any work into the games these days, he's just the face of it. Same when you elect a president, he doesn't do most of the work. If you like the game the developers have made, get it! I think people are just overloaded with information these days and can't process what's important.

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Kougeru

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@bluzima:he gets money from it. I don't want him getting my money so he can buy more child porn

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bluzima

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@Kougeru: Newsflash he’s already swimming in money whether you buy the game or not. Your measly $60 don’t mean shit.

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aross2004

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@Kougeru: I love how RP is instantly into kiddie porn because some rando said so. How about you not be a lemming and just believe everything you hear, until there is some actual proof on that.

RP being a scumbag does not = pedophile.

God forbid anyone does a little research, or thinks for themselves nowadays.

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XenomorphAlien

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Honestly, how the hell is this ass clown still CEO? This guy has done nothing but drag Gearbox's name through the mud, you think they would've sacked his ass years ago.

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Pupchu

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Edited By Pupchu

Are we surprised..?

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EdwardNygma

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I don’t know if I can’t stand him or Mark Zuckerberg more.

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blondie_82

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The guy is a crook and anyone that supports gearbox should be ashamed.

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snugglebear

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Got a Shift code for a good lawyer?

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aross2004

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@snugglebear: Upvote!

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santinegrete

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How is Randy still CEO ?!

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Jinzo_111887

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@santinegrete: Probably no one else wants to become a target after the Epic exclusivity deal.

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BarcaAzul

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BarcaAzul  Online

@santinegrete:

Or still at the company even

4 • 
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chopsbenedict

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sounding more and more like I cant ethically purchase BL3. dang.

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ProjektInsanity

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Edited By ProjektInsanity

@chopsbenedict: Way ahead of you. I'm usually zealously opposed to a "court of public opinion," but this guy, from everything I've been able to gather, strikes me as a scumbag. It's a shame that his company and all the undoubtedly hard-working employees there will ultimately pay the cost of their boss's transgressions. I can't support anything that has Randy's stink on it.

Edit: And I love BL, although admittedly, I was feeling pretty lukewarm about 3 already. For all its improvements, it has a very "been there, done that" feel to it and it's hard to bother when Cyberpunk is coming so soon.

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Oddsnake

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Man, what a circus. Luckily the only thing that matters to me is that Borderlands 3 is a great game, and it looks like it will be. And hopefully, that will be because of hard working, serious game developers that have put in a great effort to make a good game, and not because of this mess.

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Stunningham

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@oddsnake: Proving Pitchford's comment right... Way to go internet.

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Kougeru

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how is he not in jail for the child porn?

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DHarlolo

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@Kougeru: because it's probably not really child porn. Don't believe everything you read

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Kougeru

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@dharlolo: it literally says "underage porn". That can only be what is widely known as "child porn". If it wasn't, he'd counter sue for libel or some shit for people claiming it was "underage porn". Should be a court date scheduled for that

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NSA_Protocol44

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Edited By NSA_Protocol44

Randy and Tim are lovers. Both Scum of PC gaming.

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Thanatos2k

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I don't get how anyone in their right mind could work for this trashbag, unless they're participants in the creepy "parties" of his.

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EdwardNygma

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@Thanatos2k: I would never work there.

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chibi_yosho

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Is this a surprise to anyone? There have been odd stories going around about him for years.

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untouchables111

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sad, to think all the content creators want to associate them selves with GBX... no im good. i wont put money into a company hat allows this kinda stuff to happen. hope Epic games drops them

2 • 
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bluzima

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@untouchables111: Epic owns the engine Borderlands is built off. I think it’s in their mutual best interest to support each other.

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landren13

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Edited By landren13

@arh_zer0: I followed him and they had to stop. He is extremely toxic and attacks the fan base. How can you say he is friendly and nice when his twitter showed the exact opposite?

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bluzima

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Damn I guess this is going to setback the mission to bring cross-play to Borderlands 3. Get your shit together Randy.

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idkHowToPlay007

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JFC, this guy is in the news again?! Oof!

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videogameninja

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Uh oh...

Don't think any of Randy's magic tricks are gonna' get him out of this one.

-IS... THIS YOUR CARD? NINJA APPROVED-

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EdwardNygma

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@videogameninja: LOL

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aross2004

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What...a...douch...

I won't be letting my morals get in the way of Borderlands 3 though.

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ProjektInsanity

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@aross2004: You're a man of principle, clearly. To each his own.

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aross2004

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Edited By aross2004

@ProjektInsanity: I do have principles. I'm just not falling on a sword and not playing the game, just because RP is chunky toilet scum.

The people who created this game deserve to have players support the title, no matter how big of a pig's taint RP is.

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ProjektInsanity

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@aross2004: That wasn't the reasoning I gathered from your initial post. If that's the case, I can see the logic, even if I choose to disassociate myself from this thing because I find the idea of funneling even one dollar to that "pig's taint" so unpalatable.

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Vakiva

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"Internet is fine. All they care about is if my next video game is good or not." Egotist.

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Fround

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Holy shit can they just fire him already, hes the dumbest person in the gaming industry.

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NaturallyEvil

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Edited By NaturallyEvil

They should have demanded access to Epic's lawyers as part of their exclusivity deal. They seem to know how to make Epic always come out on top when they get embroiled in scumbag vs. scumbag cases.

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uninspiredcup

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Eventually he's going to get to China, keep going my man.

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