We’re talking about the lawsuit against the founder Randy Pitchford, Troy Baker not being asked to return to reprise his role as Rhys (and Randy Pitchford appearing to lie about it), and most recently, with Claptrap getting a new voice actor. Which might not seem like a big deal, but just you wait till you hear how deep this rabbit hole goes.
So here’s the story.
Claptrap used to be voiced by David Eddings, Gearbox's former executive of license and business development before moving to Rooster Teeth. However, in the recent stream and promotional videos, people noticed he sounded a bit different: that’s because David Eddings voice has been replaced by iconic voice actor Jim Foronda, who’s worked with Gearbox in the past. When asked why this was, David Eddings claimed that he was approached with an offer, but when he asked to get paid for his vocal talents this time (as apparently in the past it was pro-bono) they refused to get back to him.
Okay, pretty sketch, especially since it implies it makes employees voice act in their games with no compensation. But Gearbox responded to these claims by telling IGN:
"Gearbox works to treat and compensate all voice actors at industry standards. We offer the opportunity for salaried employees to voice characters in the game, but is not a mandatory responsibility to their job requirements,"
Which might have been the end of the story. But then ol’ Randy got involved, who said this on Twitter:
Mr. Eddings was paid very handsomely during his employment. After his employment he was made a relatively generous offer to reprise the role. Unfortunately, he turned that opportunity down.
Which, in case you weren’t keeping count, is the second time Randy Pitchford has told a very different story from the one being told by voice actors. Which either means Randy just seems to attract liars like honey draws flies, or… Randy’s the one with the problem.
And it turns out, lying might not be his only problem. Because soon after Randy Pitchford made his “claim” that he made a generous offer to Eddings to reprise the role, David Eddings responded by saying this over a series of tweets:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
That’s quite the accusation. And one that Ol’ Randy will no doubt not appreciate one bit. But if crap keeps piling up around you, maybe it’s time to start wondering if you’re the one with the bladder problem.
We’ll have to wait to see what the courts say.