Update: Gearbox has now provided a statement regarding Eddings’ claims (via 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,” the company said. “In this particular case, now that he was no longer an employee, we offered him an industry standard rate, but were not able to reach an agreement. We are confident and happy with Jim Foronda as the voice of Claptrap, and we are confident our fans will be too.”
Original Story: It seems that the original Claptrap voice actor won’t be making an appearance in Borderlands 3. The announcement of Gearbox’s popular first-person shooter has had fans excited about the prospects of diving back into the universe of Borderlands, but a reported pay dispute means that we won’t be getting to hear the voice talents of one of the mainstays of the series. Voice actor David Eddings has alleged that Gearbox wouldn’t agree to a higher rate of pay that he demanded for the use his talents in the next Borderlands game.
A fan on Twitter asked Mr. Eddings if he would be reprising his role as the Claptrap voice actor in the next Borderlands game. “No. For the first time, I insisted on getting paid for my performance and all of a sudden they couldn’t afford me,” he replied in a tweet. “Now I’m not telling them how to run their business but maybe next time they should put the $12M payment from 2K in the Gearbox bank account instead. Just sayin’…”
While the situation might seem somewhat grim for Mr. Eddings, the former Claptrap voice actor seemed somewhat positive about his future. “You’re kind but please don’t be too sad,” he continued in the Twitter thread. “In the end, my exit from GBX created at least three job opportunities for other people so that’s a positive.”
Mr. Eddings’ allegations about the pay dispute between him and Gearbox software are unfortunately lacking in any specific numbers. A video game voice actors strike took place in 2016–2017 in an attempt to gain a more equitable deal for the actors. Their efforts ultimately had some success (and an apparent pushback from voice actor Nolan North), although this particular career can still be quite challenging.
We’ve reached out to 2K and we’ll update this story if we receive a response. In the meantime, you can look forward to getting your hands on Borderlands 3 on September 13, 2019. Check out our Borderlands 3 pre-order guide to figure out what you want to buy!