Borderlands 3 has been in one mini-controversy or another ever since its announcement, from its Epic Games Store exclusivity, to Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pichford splitting hairs about the definition of “microtransactions”, and whether or not the game will have them (it will). Now we have some other unfortunate news.
David Eddings, who voiced fan-favourite character Claptrap in previous Borderlands games, confirmed on Twitter that he wouldn’t be returning to voice the character again. Eddings previously used to be a full time employee of Gearbox as their vice president of licensing and business development, and as such provided the voice for Claptrap without asking for additional payments. He has since moved on from the company though- and according to him, when he demanded to be paid to reprise his role in Borderlands 3, Gearbox decided to go with someone else.
Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford has responded to these allegations on Twitter, claiming that Eddings was, during his employment at the studio, “paid very handsomely”. Following his departure, he was made a “relatively generous” offer to voice Claptrap in Borderlands 3 again, but he turned down the opportunity. In a separate tweet, Pitchford said that the “relatively generous” that was made to Eddings was “2x scale”, which he refused, also calling him “disgruntled and bitter”.
In a statement to IGN, Gearbox Software said: “Gearbox works to treat and compensate all voice actors at industry standards. We offer the opportunity for salaried employees to voice characters in the game, but is not a mandatory responsibility to their job requirements.”
Eddings isn’t the only high profile voice actor who isn’t returning to play his older role in Borderlands 3. Shortly after the game’s announcement, we learned that Troy Baker wouldn’t be voicing Rhys in the title (he is now being voiced by Ray Chase of Final Fantasy 15 fame). This also led to a curious exchange between the actor and the Gearbox boss, with the latter claiming that the former had turned down the chance to reprise his role, and the former claiming that he had simply been told that the developers didn’t want him back. One major voice actor who will be returning is Ashly Burch as Tiny Tina.
Borderlands 3 is out on September 13 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
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
Mr. Eddings was paid very handsomely during his employment. After his employment he was made a relatively generous offer to reprise the role. Unfortunately, he turned that opportunity down.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) May 3, 2019
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