The wave of backlash brought by Borderlands 3’s recent microtransaction controversy is yet to dissipate, but developer Gearbox once again landed itself in hot water with the fans. The latest controversy began earlier this month when David Eddings, who voiced Claptrap in previous Borderlands games, announced that he won’t return to voice the iconic character. In response, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford called Eddings “bitter and disgruntled” due to being terminated.
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
Now that he was no longer a Gearbox employee, Eddings “insisted on getting paid” to voice Claptrap in Borderlands 3. However, he was denied as Gearbox reportedly “couldn’t afford” him. The situation quickly escalated, and Pitchford’s comment only made it worse.
Responding to a barrage of tweets from disgruntled fans, Pitchford clarified that “Mr. Eddings was paid very handsomely during his employment.” However, when he left Gearbox in 2017, he was apparently given a “relatively generous offer” to return as Claptrap. Pitchford further explains that Eddings was offered double the standard rate, but he ultimately declined the offer.
IGN reached out to Gearbox for clarification, who explained:
“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. In this particular case, now that he was no longer an employee, we offered him an industry standard rate, but were not able to reach an agreement.”.
Here's my official announcement saying what many of you already figured out: I am voicing Claptrap in #Borderlands3. Thanks for your support– I promise you all that I'll be the best Clappy I can be!
— Jim Foronda @ #MAGFest (@JimForonda) May 1, 2019
Replacing Eddings as the voice actor for Claptrap is Jim Foronda.
“We are confident and happy with Jim Foronda as the voice of Claptrap, and we are confident our fans will be too,” says Gearbox.
Borderlands 3 is still a few months away from its launch, yet it has become the center of several controversies already. The recent news about voice actor Troy Baker not returning to play Rhys brought a lot of attention. Just a few days ago, Pitchford got entangled in a mess regarding microtransactions in the game.
Borderlands 3 launches on September 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via the Epic Games Store.