Borderlands developer Gearbox Software has one problem: its CEO, Randy Pitchford, who continues embroiling himself and the company in bizarre controversy. The otherwise scandal-free developer has once again found itself in the sights of critics and upset fans, and every misstep can be quickly and easily retraced to Pitchford.
For those unfamiliar with Pitchford's latest self-made headache, prior to his latest mess, Pitchford prepared the gaming public and media for what was to come, having thrown a Twitter tantrum over his own mischaracterizing of loot boxes in Borderlands 3. Almost immediately afterward, it became known that the voice actor for Borderlands' Claptrap, former Gearbox executive David Eddings, would not be returning when Gearbox refused to pay him for the role, despite having left the company. On its own, this wouldn't have snowballed into the issue that it is now, but Pitchford once again took to Twitter to taunt Eddings, referring to him as "bitter and disgruntled."
Understandably, Eddings took offense to this and outed Pitchford for having allegedly taken a hefty bonus from royalty money intended for Gearbox employees, and he also disclosed a claim that Pitchford assaulted him while the two still worked together. Now, Eddings has said in a Newsweek interview that the Gearbox CEO "rage fired" him over his knowledge about the company's potential sale. He also further elaborated on his previous story of Pitchford assaulting him during GDC 2017, an event that Eddings holds is what prompted his eventual firing, saying, "He shoved the f**k out of me while I'm on the balls of my feet trying to whisper. [He] knocked me back four steps... I believe I caught him in a deception."
What's more is that Eddings says his claim can be backed up by one of two cooperative witnesses, Gearbox co-founder Landon Montgomery. Montgomery corroborates the assault allegation, saying, "David leaned up to whisper something to Randy and out of the blue, Randy shoves him, hard." Eddings also proffered screenshots from a tirade of Snapchat messages he received from Pitchford after the incident, with the CEO having demanded, "Who the f**k are you loyal to?" and jeering that Eddings' "priorities are completely f**ked." So far, there has been no response from Pitchford on these allegations, but Gearbox responded to the developing situation with the following:
"Gearbox takes any and all claims of this nature very seriously and we will abstain from commenting on the allegations [David Eddings] is making because it is a personnel matter. We think it’s a shame that the 400+ employees here who have poured the love and passion into Borderlands 3 are having their work be diluted by personal allegations."
Rest assured, though, Pitchford isn't done "pitching" an executive-sized fit on this one, even though all fingers point to him being in the wrong on all accounts. No matter what happens next in Pitchford's life, it's unfortunate that the only possible losers will be the Gearbox staff if Pitchford's personal vendetta adversely affects the sales of Borderlands 3.