Fans were already left disappointed earlier this month after it was revealed that former Gearbox executive and Claptrap voice actor David Eddings would not be returning to voice the beloved Claptrap in Borderlands 3. The issues are clearly deeper and more impactful than they appear, but the public explanation offered by Eddings centers on a dispute over him being paid what he was owed for his work with the character. That’s fair enough, but it turns out that there may have been a lot more going on than we could have foreseen. This week, Eddings also came out and accused Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford of physical assault.
And this whole kerfuffle gets even weirder given how these accusations were so casually revealed on Twitter. The whole controversy has had the predictable outcome, the internet is once again losing its mind in a see of outrage and disbelief. All things considered, Randy Pitchford is once again hot water.
These accusations follow a string of controversies around Pitchford going back years. From a mismanagement of Sega’s budget in the bungled development and release of Aliens: Colonial Marines, to another accusation that amounts to major theft, which alleges Pitchford lined his pockets with $12 million meant to be a paid bonus to employees.
All in all, these new allegations combined with the others don’t paint a very positive image of Pitchford or Gearbox, who to their credit are attempting to deal with these issues. The company provided the following statement to PC Gamer:
“Gearbox takes any and all claims of this nature very seriously and we will abstain from commenting on the allegations Dave is making because it is a personnel matter. We appreciate David’s contributions to the Borderlands franchise and have continued to assert we would welcome him back into the mix as the voice of Claptrap and other future opportunities.”
So whether or not anything more substantial comes of these allegations remains to be seen, but Pitchford’s penchant for continually angering gamers by making contradictory statements and outlandish Twitter rants certainly isn’t helping with the public image crises that are brewing around the company and their new game. I would not be surprised to see this have at least some negative impact on the reception of Borderlands 3 when it finally releases later this year.
Borderlands 3 launches on September 13 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.