In a surprising chain of events, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford and a former Gearbox lawyer are suing each other. The former general counsel at Gearbox, Wade Callender, filed suit in mid-December after leaving the company. Gearbox sued Callender the month prior, in a separate case entirely.
Kotaku has the details from both lawsuits. Callender’s December suit against Pitchford is packed with salacious allegations against the Gearbox CEO. Callender accused Pitchford of violating contracts involving Gearbox, Callenders’s employment contract, and a real estate company the two owned together.
In a statement, a Gearbox spokesperson said, “The allegations made by a disgruntled former employee are absurd, with no basis in reality or law. We look forward to addressing this meritless lawsuit in court and have no further comment at this time.”
Gearbox sued Callender in November for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. The company alleged that Callender borrowed money from Gearbox for a home loan and tuition that he did not fully pay back. The company also alleges that Callender “abused the privilege of credit card access by charging unapproved, wholly personal expenses.” Some of those expenses included family vacations, gun club memberships, and trying to get six-pack abs according to the suit. Allegations that Callender destroyed evidence of the home loan agreement are also found in the suit.
Callender and Pitchford had been longtime friends whose relationship fell apart over the past couple of years according to Callender’s lawsuit. Callender’s lawsuit alleges that Pitchford struck a deal to receive a $12 million bonus as an advance on royalties. The lawsuit calls it a “particularly tragic exploitation” as that money should be funding game development, not Pitchford’s pockets.
An event from 2014 detailed in Callender’s lawsuit contains even more allegations against Randy Pitchford. The lawsuit claims that Pitchford left a USB drive containing sensitive corporate documents in a Dallas restaurant. According to the lawsuit the USB drive “also contained Randy Pitchford’s personal collection of ‘underage’ pornography.” Callender also accuses Pitchford of hosting parties where “adult men have reportedly exposed themselves to minors, to the amusement of Randy Pitchford.”
Gearbox, developer of the Borderlands series and Aliens: Colonial Marines, was founded in 1999 by Pitchford and colleagues. Callender joined the studio in 2010 as a general counsel, a position he held for eight years. Gearbox’s lawsuit against Callender can be read here on Scribd. Callender’s lawsuit against Pitchford and Gearbox can be found here.