Gameplay video and Randy Pitchford Twitter Meltdown extravaganza

Avatar image for jesus_phish
#1 Edited by Jesus_Phish (3900 posts) -

So yesterday Gearbox had their gameplay reveal event, which consisted of Greg Miller and Andrea Rene sitting on a couch talking to people for a while and then some footage and discussion of the game. You can watch the whole thing here if you

like.

The gameplay footage trailer was also put out which you can see here

All was going well until Randy Pitchford escaped back onto Twitter to try and start some sort of fight with Game Informer. At this point I remembered that in recent months, Gearbox hired Johnny V to work for them and my god take away from the publishing arm and put him in charge of PR instead of allowing Randy Pitchford to continue to be Randy Pitchford CEO and PR and face of Gearbox.

During the presentation, Pitchford says "there will be no microtransactions!". Which other members of his team deemed to be a lie. Because it is. There are microtransactions because you can buy skins for your characters. What Randy obviously meant was that you could buy what you wanted, instead of there being lootboxes and you randomly maybe getting what you want.

So Game Informer put out this tweet for an article titled "Borderlands 3 Won't Have Loot Boxes"

Despite Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford's comment about "no microtransactions" in Borderlands 3 during today's livestream, we've been told cosmetic items are still purchasable. https://t.co/DnQpHJVpt5pic.twitter.com/6abQ7KA4mH

This sent Randy off on a mad one. He accused GI of doing him dirty, he got into a spat with Andy McNamara accusing him and GI of causing Randy damage and calling Randy a liar and as of this morning has an 18 tweet long rant about it and is still calling out Andy to change the tweet.

In between all of this he's been fighting with random people on the internet about the whole thing.

I'd link some of the tweets but honestly there's too many of them. This one is a keeper though

Randy Pitchford is determined to win hottest mess of 2019.

Avatar image for onemanarmyy
#2 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4502 posts) -

Him still attacking GI after they gave him room for a clarification (which he then turned into an epic 18 tweet-long PR + rant) is something else. `I like GI's potential to avoid such confusion`.. get outta here dramaqueen. Put your ego aside, say 'woops i misspoke, there will be cosmetics' and everything would've been fine.

Avatar image for haz
#3 Posted by Haz (422 posts) -

I saw the initial tweet but didn’t realize he sent an 18 tweet response, jeez. Andy McNamara gave him a chance to respond and he went even more crazy. This is embarrassing.

Avatar image for soulcake
#4 Edited by soulcake (2820 posts) -

"Oh Randy you're such a embarrassment to the family, you should have stayed a magician" In a Mike Stoklasa's old ladies voice.

I think GI defiantly having the higher ground here. Randy is just jumping onto that lightsaber.

Avatar image for mikemcn
#6 Posted by Mikemcn (8599 posts) -

He reminds me of a David Jaffe, or a Cliffy B. He's the kind of guy who never really grew up, which on some level would be helpful for making fun games but mostly just empowers the "videogames are for children" stereotype.

Avatar image for mellotronrules
#7 Posted by mellotronrules (2625 posts) -

randy really needs to give it a rest.

i was going to write something about how he's going to damage the borderlands brand by associating the game with his behaviour- but then again borderlands seems more-or-less the product of a emotionally volatile 50ish year old child CEO, so that's on brand i guess?

(i like borderlands, just less so with every release).

Avatar image for redcream
#8 Posted by redcream (904 posts) -

I just don't understand what the fuss is about. Randy is blowing this out of proportion for no good reason. The cynical part of me thinks that this is a calculated Streisand effect tweet to spread the word for Borderlands 3 further out. After all, there's no such thing as bad press.

Maybe this meltdown comes from the fact that BL3 has to hit in light of the recent flops from Gearbox creating a do or die situation and it's taking a toll on him.

Avatar image for gundato
#9 Edited by Gundato (333 posts) -

I never thought I would say it but: Thank god (... probably Lucifer and Cthulhu) for THQ Nordic!

Randy continues to be a massive trainwreck with a long history of fairly skeevy business actions (and flash drive usage) who I REALLY don't want to give any money. But at least he isn't targeting Certain Crowds and is mostly keeping his insanity confined to his "reputation" or whatever it is. It is VERY easy to distinguish between Randy the Guy Who Probably Needs A Lot Of Mental Help and Gearbox the Somewhat Okay Company With a History of Some Questionable Funding Sources

So I can still in somewhat decent faith buy this if it reviews well. Because holy crap that looks beautiful. And I tried to replay Borderlands 2 and noped out during the unskippable "clap trap wakes you up" cutscene.

Avatar image for casepb
#10 Posted by Casepb (753 posts) -

Randy being Randy. So Borderlands 3 is looking very much like Borderlands, love it or hate it. I guess it looks fine to me. I will get it one day when it's on sale with all the DLC. I recently went back to check out all my BL2 characters and I played for a bit. I feel like I'm not really up for another one of these just yet. If my backlog wasn't so big and then there wasn't a ton of way more interesting games coming this year I would be though.

Avatar image for nateandrews
#11 Edited by nateandrews (102 posts) -

I get why Randy would want to try to jump ahead of any microtransaction controversy if he thought people were gonna be mislead. Misinformation spreads on YouTube and Reddit unbelievably fast. Regardless of who is right, he would’ve been better served serving up a post on the Gearbox website instead of spreading his “clarification” across a hundred tweets over 24 hours. The whole thing is just confusing to the point of being entirely... pointless.

Avatar image for ares42
#12 Posted by Ares42 (4366 posts) -

I'm willing to bet this is Randy feeling way too good about himself after the high he got on stage during the reveal event and then getting upset because someone came along and shit on his parade. Deep down Randy is a performer, he wants to stand on stage and have people applaud him. It's why he keeps bringing out his magic tricks and why he did that strange song a few years back, and never has this been more obvious than at the end of the event when everyone was applauding "his" game. He was literally giddy with excitement.

Avatar image for soimadeanaccount
#13 Edited by soimadeanaccount (629 posts) -

Not sure how true it is, but some speculates that there's an (perhaps industry wide) push to basically rebrand/rename loot boxes and (or to) micro transaction.

Essentially the term loot boxes has become completely bad and is a PR disaster, and micro transaction is sort of kind of going down with it. As such if they can somehow mental gymnastic their way to rename loot boxes with micro transaction they get to use language like no micro transaction where it only means no loot boxes.

Avatar image for efesell
#14 Posted by Efesell (4569 posts) -

I mean honestly I get it.. I understand probably what he was wanting to convey and how the headline looks instead and it makes sense that he might be frustrated.

But my guy you gotta just fuckin' shut up. Be mad or whatever, go yell into the void of your private account or something but remember your position for once god damn.

Avatar image for frytup
#15 Posted by frytup (1346 posts) -

I think they call this "going full Musk".

Avatar image for shindig
#16 Edited by Shindig (4963 posts) -

Nah, he needs to try and end an argument with a paedophilia accusation. Maybe in that court case.

Avatar image for bunghole69
#18 Posted by bunghole69 (23 posts) -

Imagine working at Gearbox LOL.

Avatar image for zaccheus
#19 Posted by zaccheus (2098 posts) -

Imagine working at Gearbox LOL.

I'm feel so sorry for those people.

Avatar image for strikealight
#20 Edited by StrikeALight (1270 posts) -

Gearbox are trash.

Avatar image for efesell
#21 Posted by Efesell (4569 posts) -

@zaccheus said:
@bunghole69 said:

Imagine working at Gearbox LOL.

I'm feel so sorry for those people.

I dunno, are those crunch stories out?

Maybe they're lucky and just only working for someone who's super weird.

Avatar image for oursin_360
#22 Posted by OurSin_360 (6201 posts) -

lol, really all he had to say was "Sorry i meant loot boxes".

@mikemcn said:

He reminds me of a David Jaffe, or a Cliffy B. He's the kind of guy who never really grew up, which on some level would be helpful for making fun games but mostly just empowers the "videogames are for children" stereotype.

I don't think either of them are nearly as bad as Pitchford.

Avatar image for bladeofcreation
#23 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1405 posts) -

How long until he officially Milkshake Ducks?

Avatar image for imhungry
#24 Posted by imhungry (1139 posts) -

@bladeofcreation: Pretty sure you have to have previously been likable in order to Milkshake Duck.

Avatar image for barrock
#25 Posted by Barrock (4154 posts) -

Randy entering the Denis Dyack realm here.

Avatar image for bladeofcreation
#26 Edited by BladeOfCreation (1405 posts) -

@imhungry: Fair.

@barrock: Embracing that one thumb drive future.

Avatar image for gundato
#27 Posted by Gundato (333 posts) -

@oursin_360: I think Cliffy could have put everyone to shame if he had peaked even a decade later. He mellowed out quite a bit around the time social media was becoming a thing.

Agreed on Jaffe though. He is obnoxious but I always get the feeling his obnoxious shitheeling comes from a good place

Avatar image for mrgreenman
#28 Posted by MrGreenMan (231 posts) -

I've been in this situation before where you say something and feel what you said was taken out of context or misinterpreted on so many occasions. The thing is, I'm not in the public eye so it really only affects me and my dumb ass. You would think someone who represents a huge company would have media training and know how to deal with people on some level. At best, this just makes him look like a completely irresponsible leader and at worst, this makes him look like a egomaniac that does not know at all what he is talking about and constantly lies, and then picks fights with those who don't agree with him.

so my question is, how long until he has to step down, is let go, or just has a complete meltdown and makes things even worse?

Avatar image for therealturk
#29 Posted by TheRealTurk (578 posts) -

@mrgreenman said:

I've been in this situation before where you say something and feel what you said was taken out of context or misinterpreted on so many occasions. The thing is, I'm not in the public eye so it really only affects me and my dumb ass. You would think someone who represents a huge company would have media training and know how to deal with people on some level. At best, this just makes him look like a completely irresponsible leader and at worst, this makes him look like a egomaniac that does not know at all what he is talking about and constantly lies, and then picks fights with those who don't agree with him.

so my question is, how long until he has to step down, is let go, or just has a complete meltdown and makes things even worse?

As to the first two, probably never given that he owns the company and based on some of the things that came out around the whole *ahem* child porn issue, he's pushed or conned out anyone who would have had the spine to say anything about it.

As to the last one, probably whenever the next time someone says something that is slightly mean about him? It's honestly incomprehensible to me that no one talked him out of appearing at these events given everything else that's going on. I obviously don't know the guy, but he comes across like a gigantic infant. Someone might want to let him know that Adam Sandler isn't considered cool anymore.

Avatar image for nivomi
#30 Posted by nivomi (22 posts) -

chiming in to let everybody know that "randy pitchford twitter meltdown" fits the rhythm of the teenage mutant ninja turtles theme song

Avatar image for splodge
#31 Posted by splodge (2786 posts) -

@nivomi said:

chiming in to let everybody know that "randy pitchford twitter meltdown" fits the rhythm of the teenage mutant ninja turtles theme song

I'm singing it in my head now and it's perfect

Avatar image for gundato
#32 Edited by Gundato (333 posts) -

You say that. But pewdiepie and ninja and donkey and whatever constantly scream and make goofy voices and vaguely (or explicitly) racist jokes and are some of the more popular people on the planet.

And pretty much an entire generation have been conditioned to lose their shit over people judging them by their actions rather than their (current) intentions.

Believe it or not, Randy is probably "cool"er than most these days.

Avatar image for ltcolumbo
#33 Edited by ltcolumbo (179 posts) -

I love me some Borderlands, but Randy Pitchford has always seemed like a bit of a whackadoo. Did 3DRealms regularly concuss their employees to increase their appreciation of Duke Nukem’s banter or something?

Avatar image for humanity
#34 Posted by Humanity (18950 posts) -

@therealturk: Like you said, he owns the company, no one is talking him out of anything. Considering how he reacted to all of the rational and level headed responses from GameInformer, I doubt anyone could reason with him inside the company either.

Borderlands 3 better sell real well because they have been on a pretty big losing streak for a while now. Lord knows how much Battleborne cost them.

Avatar image for csl316
#35 Posted by csl316 (15006 posts) -

He's been a dope forever. Best Gearbox could do at this point is get him out of there, Notch-style.

Avatar image for shagge
#36 Posted by ShaggE (9305 posts) -

@nivomi said:

chiming in to let everybody know that "randy pitchford twitter meltdown" fits the rhythm of the teenage mutant ninja turtles theme song

Welp, gonna have that in my head now.

Avatar image for tds418
#37 Posted by tds418 (511 posts) -

Randy Pitchford or Anthem for hottest mess of 2019 (so far)?

Avatar image for bladeofcreation
#38 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1405 posts) -

@nivomi: Just said this out loud. Thank you for your service.

Avatar image for thechris
#39 Posted by TheChris (549 posts) -

Remember when he said Battleborn wouldn’t be free to play? This man lies out of his teeth as a living.

Avatar image for dudeglove
#40 Posted by dudeglove (13780 posts) -
Avatar image for humanity
#41 Posted by Humanity (18950 posts) -

@tds418: Anthem it’s not even a competition. A highly anticipated and heavily advertised game from storied developer BioWare completely tanks because of piss poor internal management and work practices - compared to a guy having a Twitter fit no one will remember in two days.

Avatar image for selbie
#42 Posted by selbie (2576 posts) -
Avatar image for pweidman
#43 Edited by pweidman (2867 posts) -

Obviously a lot riding on BL3 being a big success for Gearbox and Pitchford . Randy's always been an eccentric attention seeker, but this twitter overreaction imo, reflects the pressure and desperation he feels about the success and maybe even continued existence of his company based on BL3's reception and sales. He's in balls deep and he just can't detach and let some PR pro handle this type of stuff right now.

Avatar image for nasher27
#44 Posted by nasher27 (357 posts) -

If the game is good, I'll pick it up at some point. I don't really care what the guy does on Twitter.

Just more evidence as to why Twitter shouldn't exist.

Avatar image for dudeglove
#45 Posted by dudeglove (13780 posts) -

So instead of the twitter meltdown, Mike Stutter over at GameDaily posted the following yesterday.

https://gamedaily.biz/article/965/former-gearbox-employee-provides-proof-randy-pitchford-diverted-funds-to-personal-company

Here's a choice few quotes.

New documents in the suit filed by Wade Callender, former Gearbox corporate counsel, against Randy Pitchford back up a claim that Pitchford diverted studio money to a personal company.

One of many allegations included in the suit indicates that Pitchford syphoned $12 million in Borderlands bonuses intended for the studio. At the time this came to light, in January 2019, Gearbox vehemently denied the entirety of Callender’s accusations.

[speaking of this, Gearbox despite publicly denying this and threatening legal action, they didn't actually file a countersuit against Callender]

While we now have proof that funds were originally intended to be paid to Gearbox have since been diverted to Pitchford’s company, there are factors that we still don’t fully understand. Pitchford is a 50% owner of Gearbox Software LLC and has 51% operational control (with Bahl controlling the rest). According to attorney Richard Hoeg of The Hoeg Law Firm, the ownership situation could confound the matter.

“If the royalty were just owed to Gearbox on the whole and then Randy diverted it, it would look very much like stealing,” Hoeg told GameDaily via email. “As an officer or director you owe a duty to protect the assets of the company. That’s usually divided into a duty of loyalty and a duty of care. Here the duty of loyalty is very much implicated, as one could argue—as they are in fact arguing—that Randy took a business opportunity directly out of the hands of the company he owes this duty towards."

Lastly

A jury trial is currently set for January 7, 2020.

...but a settlement could be reached before then.

So the short version is, rather than 12 million going to Gearbox, 2K and Randy agreed to instead funnel it into Pitchford's own private company. Considering he owns both companies (he has 51% control of Gearbox which isn't publicly traded), this doesn't really make much sense, outside of potential not-having-to-pay-tax reasons (in the sense that he was going to put it into his ents company regardless, they just decided to skip the Gearbox step because 2K couldn't pay it directly to that company or something...?). But then again, none of what Pitchford does lately makes any sense in terms of good business practice or common decency, so it should hardly come as a surprise that this sort of thing has come to light.

Overall it's continuing to be an extremely bad look for Borderlands 3, but I also don't doubt that it's just Randy that's the problem at Gearbox. Pure speculation on my part, but given my own experience, Randy likely has people who prop him up within his own company hence the deafening lack of internal criticism coming from Gearbox. Outside of Gearbox, Strauss Zelnick of Take 2 in an E3 interview all but washed his hands of the Borderlands fiasco

"In that instance, we don't own or control Gearbox," Zelnick says. "They're a third-party developer, and we're not engaged with them in how they run their business. We're very supportive of them, and Randy's been very plain publicly that the allegations have no merit. We market the title, but we have to clearly state there's a corporate division between Take-Two entities and Gearbox."

Avatar image for jesus_phish
#46 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3900 posts) -

@dudeglove: I think one important aspect of this that Wade Callender sort of brushed over before (because it sounds better his way) is that of the $12M that Randy put into his magic company instead of into Gearbox, all of that money was actually his. None of it was due to go to the developers or employees at Gearbox.

Callender has made it sound like Randy swindled money away from the developers but that's just not the case.

I said it elsewhere, I do think it's fucked that 2K would agree to give Randy such a bonus for 30 hours work per week on Borderlands 3, but that money going into Gearbox and then to Randy or going to Randy's magic company or going to Randy directly isn't nearly as big of an issue as if it was intended for the employees.

I hope 2K are putting up bonus money for the developers at Gearbox, but since nobody has said either way my guess is that they haven't/aren't.

And my guess as to why he got it paid into his magic company is for some sort of tax loophole reasons.

Avatar image for soulcake
#47 Posted by soulcake (2820 posts) -

I have to agree with the tax loophole it's a thing you see often in a lot off different country's. If i learned one thing people/company's really hate paying taxes so they rather spend most of there profits on fidget spinners or some other dumb shit, then to pay taxes on it.

Avatar image for dudeglove
#48 Posted by dudeglove (13780 posts) -

@jesus_phish:I get that too, but it's ridiculously hard at this point not to see this as an act of deliberate and obvious greed on Pitchford's part. I've absolutely no experience regarding US tax brackets for private businesses and the procedure for diverting funds, nor how either are supposed to work in the eyes of either the IRS or Texas tax legislation, but my assumption is that the whole point of diverting this seven figure sum is to avoid incurring some sort of penalty. Outside of some clarification from Pitchford (unlikely) or someone else related to Gearbox and/or the entertainment company (and considering it's an LLC, the number of people is probably not very many), we'll likely never know.

However, I will say that regarding said company, at least according to corporationwiki.com, the entertainment company only came into existence three years ago in March 2016

https://www.corporationwiki.com/p/2rgexx/pitchford-entertainment-media-and-magic-llc

Why this might even matter is because it predates the timing of the amendment to the bonus part of the Borderlands 3 contract (which was either November 2016 and/or March 2017), which is awfully convenient to have set up at the sidelines.

I dunno, it all just starts to reek of the same smell that the likes of Uber pull in order to not pay taxes by running hollywood accounting through various shell companies.

Avatar image for jesus_phish
#49 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3900 posts) -

@dudeglove: Absolutely. But if this is for tax evasion reasons he's no more a scumbag than anyone else who dodges taxes - like Apple or Amazon or Starbucks etc etc. I wouldn't expect much else. It's just that I've seen people use this as some sort of confirmation that he stole it from his workers, which is kind of what Callender was alluding to.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.