Update: Oh boy. Boy oh boy. David Eddings updated some stuff on Twitter and....well....yeah...
I ultimately offered to do it for “free” in exchange for past royalties owed plus an apology for something I’ve never spoken about publicly until now: Randy physically assaulted me in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis at GDC 2017.— David Eddings (@davideddings) May 7, 2019
Fresh off of a string of controversies that would kill most careers, Randy Pitchford is already knee deep in another problem.
If you've spent time with the Borderlands games you'll almost certainly recognize the wannabe sidekick known as Claptrap. His roles usually vary, but whether he's comic relief, attempting to be the hero, or about to run away from the fight there's no questioning that Claptrap best represents the feeling of Borderlands. So as Gearbox prepares to release the third numbered game in their franchise it was a bit baffling to hear the voice of Claptrap won't be coming back.
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
David Eddings currently works as the head of games publishing for Rooster Teeth, but not that long ago he was the vice president of licensing and business development at Gearbox. On the side he was also the voice of Claptrap (this is why you'll see it mentioned he wasn't originally paid for this role, dude was an executive). But now that Eddings is no longer with the company he wanted to return to his role and, of course, get paid for it.
According to Eddings, Gearbox "couldn't afford" him implying they didn't want to pay him what a voice actor deserves. However Gearbox did hire veteran voice actor Jim Foronda to step into the role, presumably getting paid for it.
Gearbox's official statement isn't too rude or crude. They state that employees are offered chances to voice characters if they wish (nothing like getting extra work from employees and not having to pay anyone for it) but also hires outside voice actors and pays them normal, competitive rates.
But then the magician spoke up. Randy stated on his Twitter that Eddings was offered double the usual pay to return to the rule, refused, and "is bitter and disgruntled about having been terminated."
There was no “force” - He wanted it (and reveled in it). The issue today is that Mr. Eddings is bitter and disgruntled about having been terminated. He was offered 2x scale, he refused. I don’t want him to do it unless he wants to do it, as motivation affects performance.— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) May 4, 2019
Now this isn't as controversial as a lost USB stick, accusations of embezzling $12 million, or yelling at the gaming press because the you can't determine the definition of microtransactions. But a public tussle with a former executive over proper compensation and pay isn't a good look.
How Pitchford believes this is a good look or proper process for handling this issues is baffling. Almost as baffling as his continued access to Twitter.