Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford says that he offered the former Claptrap voice actor twice the union minimum rate to reprise his role in Borderlands 3, but he turned it down.
Last week, we reported that David Eddings, better known as the voice of Claptrap in the Borderlands franchise, was turned down the role in Borderlands 3 after asking that he actually get paid for the work. Previously, Eddings played the voice of Claptrap for free while working as vice president at Gearbox Studios.
Eddings left Gearbox in 2017 under mysterious circumstances, and apparently there’s still some bad blood there. In a statement on Twitter, Eddings said that the reason he was no longer the voice of Claptrap was due to those old grudges.
“I insisted on getting paid for my performance and all of a sudden they couldn't afford me," wrote Eddings, further commenting on an ongoing legal dispute involving a $12 million bonus, a USB stick, and allegedly explicit underage videos located in files on said USB stick.
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
Now, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford is firing back to say that Eddings is “bitter and disgruntled about having been terminated,” and he was actually offered twice the union minimum to reprise his role as Claptrap in Borderlands 3.
In a conversation with another Twitter user regarding how Eddings used to voice Claptrap for free while working at Gearbox, Pitchford chimed in to say that Eddings was never “forced” to voice Claptrap without pay and that he even “reveled in” the role.
“The issue today is that Mr. Eddings is bitter and disgruntled about having been terminated. He was offered 2x scale, he refused,” wrote Pitchford. “I don’t want him to do it unless he wants to do it, as motivation affects performance."
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
According to the Washington Post, in 2017 the Screen Actors Guild negotiated a minimum pay of $850 for a four-hour session. We’re not sure how many lines Claptrap has in the new game, but if it’s anything like Borderlands 2, it would likely require a few of these recording sessions at least.
Eddings isn’t the only Borderlands voice to not return in Borderlands 3. Troy Baker also won’t return as the voice of Rhys, although Baker says he was never even asked to return while Pitchford said that he turned down the role.