When news broke that Claptrap voice actor David Eddings was not reprising his role in Borderlands 3
- with David noting that the deal fell through after he "insisted on getting paid" for the performance - a few questions were raised. As an ex-Gearbox Software
employee, as is common practice across a number of titles, he voiced the Claptrap character in the first two Borderlands games as an executive at the studio. Sans pay.
Having left the company a few years back, when offered the chance to reprise his role as Claptrap negotiations broke down after he insisted on getting paid a certain amount. To which Gearbox responded that he was offered an industry standard rate, in a statement to IGN
"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. We are confident and happy with Jim Foronda as the voice of Claptrap, and we are confident our fans will be too."
The statement confirms the replacement Claptrap voice actor and seemingly provides some closure. But, David Edding's initial Tweet featured the following jab at Gearbox and CEO Randy Pitchford.
With Randy Pitchford adding on Twitter that there was a "relatively generous offer to reprise the role" made. With Randy responding to a query regarding initial no-pay work done by David Eddings on the first two Borderlands games with additional, well, negativity regarding David's time at Gearbox.
With "terminated" explicitly saying that David Eddings was fired, Eddings then proceeded to provide abuse accusations across pair of Tweets, "I was fine moving on after Gearbox. But when my former boss starts mouthing off about various aspects of my employment including 'how highly compensated' I was and how 'generous' he is, I feel obligated to correct the record," he wrote.
"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."
A startling turn for what began as a change in voice actors, with Gearbox releasing a statement overnight to Eurogamer
"Gearbox takes any and all claims of this nature very seriously and we will abstain from commenting on the allegations Dave is making because it is a personnel matter. We appreciate David's contributions to the Borderlands franchise and have continued to assert we would welcome him back into the mix as the voice of Claptrap and other future opportunities."
Interestingly this is the first voice actor issue regarding Borderlands 3, as when Troy Baker - who voice Rhys in the Telltale Borderlands series - is also no returning to the series. To which Randy Pitchford responded that he turned down the role, which was then refuted by Troy Baker.