The Borderlands 3 Claptrap voice actor won't be the same as the one fans have come to know and love, and according to David Eddings, the former talent behind the robotic character's audio, it's because he request payment for his work. Borderlands 3 has already been dealing with controversy over its choice of voice actor behind Tales from the Borderlands' Rhys, with original VA Troy Baker stating he wasn't asked to return while Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford arguing that Baker turned the role down.
Borderlands 3 was the benefactor of an extremely popular gameplay reveal event earlier this week, but for matters outside the game, it's been a bit of a rough ride recently. Pitchford recently came under fire for publicly stating that Borderlands 3 microtransactions wouldn't exist despite the fact that cosmetic and time-saving purchases will be present in the game, with the result being another torrent of tweets criticizing games journalists. That, coupled with the fact that apparently the Borderlands 3 Claptrap voice actor situation is a result of alleged non-payment for services, could hurt the otherwise positive reception for one of 2019's biggest releases.
Eddings, who has previously voiced Claptrap in Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and Tales from the Borderlands, announced that he would not be returning in to be the Borderlands 3 Claptrap voice actor on Twitter after a fan asked him about his role in the game. Despite having voiced the character in every game the series has featured him in up until this point, Eddings made it clear that the reason he wasn't participating was because he felt he was being undervalued. Here's Eddings' tweet in full:
No. For the first time, I insisted on getting paid for my performance and all of a sudden they couldn't afford me. 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'...— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 2, 2019
According to Eddings, it would appear that Gearbox Software wasn't interested in hiring him because he wanted adequate money to reprise a role he has made iconic within the franchise. The Borderlands 3 Claptrap voice actor will replace Eddings, who departs the franchise after many years of hard work in making Claptrap one of the series' most popular recurring characters. Eddings did later suggest that he wasn't as bitter as the first tweet might have indicated, stating that the experience at Gearbox created more job opportunities for him:
You're kind but please don't be too sad. In the end, my exit from GBX created at least three job opportunities for other people so that's a positive. 😄— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 2, 2019
Fun fact: When Rikki Simons and I first met we both said, "People think I'm you!"
Ultimately, though, whether or not Eddings is grateful for the experience is besides the point of his departure from being the Borderlands 3 Claptrap voice actor. Allegedly, Gearbox did not want to adequately pay Eddings for his contributions to the series, despite the fact he had been instrumental in the creation of what has become the franchise mascot. It's yet another troubling revelation about an industry that has come under fire consistently this year for underpaying developers, laying off employees, and generally creating work conditions that are extremely problematic. Eddings might be a good sport about it after all, but this situation feels like one that Gearbox will want to address directly, lest its image take another hit after the microtransactions scandal earlier this week and the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity uproar that occurred last month.