Gearbox CEO, Randy Pitchford, has taken to Twitter to defend the allegations against his company by former Claptrap voice actor David Eddings. The news of a new Claptrap voice actor in Borderlands 3 broke just after the Borderlands 3 gameplay reveal last week. When prompted, Eddings said Gearbox couldn’t “afford” him. But Pitchford’s response means there might be more to the story.
Eddings, after being asked by a fan on Twitter if he would be returning as the voice of Claptrap in Borderlands 3 said, “No…I insisted on getting paid for my performance and all of a sudden they couldn’t afford me.” According to Eddings, he asked to be paid for his performance, but Gearbox said no. However, according to a recent tweet by Pitchford, there may be more to the story.
It may seem a bit unusual that Eddings claimed to not be paid at all for his work, but a closer look at the circumstance reveals that was in fact the case. At the time of the previous Borderlands games, Eddings worked for Gearbox as an executive.
A Gearbox representative told IGN, “We offer the opportunity for salaried employees to voice characters in the game, but is not a mandatory responsibility to their job requirements.” So, Eddings was working as the Claptrap voice actor for free, but it was a volunteer role while he was an employee of Gearbox. Eddings parted ways with Gearbox in 2017, so all the work he did in Borderlands was merely a job perk and was never understood to be a paid position.
Now that Eddings is no longer a part of Gearbox, he asked to be paid for his role as the Claptrap voice actor. Eddings claims the Gearbox couldn’t afford him, however, in one of Pitchfords latest tweets, he claims that Eddings was “offered a 2x scale” but refused.
Additionally, in the same statement to IGN, Gearbox said that if “offered him an industry standard rate, but were not able to reach an agreement.”
Pitchford went on to talk about Eddings, saying, “I don’t want him to do it unless he wants to do it, as motivation affects performance.” And then proceeded to call him “bitter and disgruntled” for being “terminated” by Gearbox.
It is always hard to know which side is telling the truth in these situations, but it seems that Eddings initial claims against Gearbox may not be as damning as they once seemed. Regardless, Claptrap seems to be written the same way, for better or worse, as we noted in our recent preview of the game.