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:
Eddings was a decade-plus executive veteran at Gearbox before he left in 2017 to take a job at Rooster Teeth, where he currently serves as Head of Game Publishing. 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.”
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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