Gearbox apparently refused to pay the original voice of Claptrap to reprise his role in Borderlands 3.
According to a tweet from David Eddings, the voice actor of Claptrap in Borderlands 1, 2, The Pre Sequel, and Tales from the Borderlands, Gearbox offered Eddings the job of Claptrap in Borderlands 3, but as soon as he asked to be paid for his services, Gearbox left him out in the cold.
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
“For the first time, I insisted on getting paid for my performance and all of a sudden they couldn't afford me,” wrote Eddings. He previously worked as Gearbox’s VP of Marketing for just over a decade and provided his voice acting pro-bono--a common practice for developers. Eddings left the company in 2017, apparently not under good terms.
This makes the second voice actor to not return for Borderlands 3. Rhys voice actor Troy Baker confirmed that he would also not be returning last month, although the stories as to why aren’t particularly clear. Baker says he was never offered the job, while Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said in a tweet that Baker turned the job down.
Eddings, at least, remained upbeat after breaking the news, later tweeting that his departure "created at least three job opportunities for other people" at Gearbox.
As for his comment on the $12 million, that refers to an ongoing legal saga between Gearbox and former legal counsel, Wade Callender. According to documents obtained by Kotaku, Gearbox launched a lawsuit against Callender last November for using a company credit card for personal reasons and failing to pay back a house loan. Callender, meanwhile, immediately countersued, accusing Pitchford of siphoning a $12 million “executive bonus” and using it to pay for personal projects during a wage freeze for Gearbox employees.
This was also combined with a bizarre accusation of Pitchford leaving a USB stick with sensitive corporate information and pornographic videos of underage women.
At the time this story broke, Eddings tweeted out “yes, it’s true,” apparently referring to the lawsuit. Which might be why Pitchford is refusing to pay the man to reprise his role as Claptrap’s iconic voice.