Update: Gearbox has issued a statement about the physical assault allegations. Original story follows.
For the most part, the announcement and gameplay reveal for Borderlands 3 has been met with enthusiasm from the gaming community. However, hype for Borderlands 3 has been somewhat overshadowed by a number of controversies, such as its exclusivity to the Epic Games Store, its use of microtransactions (leading to a public squabble between Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford and Game Informer), and more. Borderlands 3 has also caught some heat for replacing voice actors for some of the game's most iconic characters, like Claptrap, with Claptrap's voice actor now accusing Randy Pitchford of much more than just recasting his role.
After it was revealed that former Gearbox executive and Claptrap voice actor David Eddings wouldn't be returning for Borderlands 3, Eddings took to social media to clarify that the reason was he wanted paid for his voice work. Pitchford then pushed back against that claim, calling Eddings bitter and disgruntled in the process. Eddings has since responded to this, saying that Pitchford physically assaulted him in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis at GDC 2017.
Eddings said that he would agree to voice Claptrap in Borderlands 3 if Pitchford apologized for the incident and paid him for past royalties he believes he's owed. This deal apparently fell through, as we know Eddings will not be Claptrap's voice actor in Borderlands 3.
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
Eddings went on to say, "I think Randy’s been on tilt the last few years. He's not the victim he portrays himself to be." Eddings then accused Pitchford of stalking him on social media, which is why he blocked the Gearbox CEO.
Overall, this whole situation is pretty ugly, and it's not doing any favors for Pitchford's already shaky public image. The Gearbox CEO has been involved in a number of controversies in the past. There was the infamous Aliens: Colonial Marines debacle, as well as the accusation that he "stole" $12 million from Gearbox employees by getting a secret bonus from Take-Two. More recently, he's butted heads with Rhys voice actor Troy Baker about not bringing him back for Borderlands 3, with both parties basically accusing the other of lying.
It will be interesting to see how this situation develops moving forward. At the time of this writing, Pitchford has yet to publicly respond to Eddings' accusations, and neither has Borderlands publisher 2K Games. We will update this article if they decide to issue a response.
Borderlands 3 will launch on September 13 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.