Claptrap actor accuses Gearbox CEO of assault

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The original voice actor behind the Borderlands character Claptrap has accused Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford of assaulting him, in a dispute over pay.

The latest unseemly spat involving Gearbox and its increasingly controversial CEO emerged on Twitter. David Eddings, a Gearbox employee who voiced Claptrap in the original Borderlands games but has been replaced for Borderlands 3, embarked on a Twitter exchange about playing the garrulous robot in which he said: “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.”

Pitchford hit back on Twitter, alleging that Eddings was given the chance to play Claptrap in Borderlands 3: “There was no “force” – He wanted it (and reveled [sic] 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.”

Eddings hit back, again on Twitter, with: “I was fine moving on after Gearbox. But when my former boss starts mouthing off about various aspects of my employment including “how highly compensated” I was and how “generous” he is, I feel obligated to correct the record.”

Following the Twitter exchange, Eurogamer managed to extract an official statement on the matter from Gearbox: “Gearbox takes any and all claims of this nature very seriously and we will abstain from commenting on the allegations Dave is making because it is a personnel matter. We appreciate David’s contributions to the Borderlands franchise and have continued to assert we would welcome him back into the mix as the voice of Claptrap and other future opportunities.”

In the build-up to the September 13 launch of Borderlands 3, Pitchford has become embroiled in a number of controversies, including an ongoing lawsuit brought by former Gearbox company lawyer Wade Callender which, as we reported, alleged that Pitchford took a $12 million “secret bonus” payment from the company.

Conspiracy theorists may point out that all the controversies are doing a good job of keeping Borderlands 3 in the public eye. For more information about the forthcoming loot-shooter, visit its official website.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.