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Claptrap voice actor for Borderlands 3 replaced over alleged (lack of) pay

What you need to know

  • The robot Claptrap in Borderlands 3 isn't voiced by the same actor as the past two games.
  • The voice actor claims that he wasn't compensated by Gearbox Software.
  • He also claims that studio head Randy Pitchford assaulted him.
  • Borderlands 3 is available for $60 through the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab).

Updated May 6, 2019: According to Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford, David Eddings was offered twice the amount and other benefits but he refused. Pitchford went on to say that Eddings was a "disgruntled" employee that was maligning the project. However, Eddings responds by saying that Pitchford assaulted him and that he was never paid royalties. The original story follows.

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A few days ago, developer Gearbox Software livestreamed 45 minutes of Borderlands 3 footage. While we got a taste of the gameplay and story, some gamers expressed concern that the lovable — and incredibly irritating — robot Claptrap didn't quite sound the same. It turns out that the same voice actor isn't reprising his role due to payment issues.

On Twitter, David Eddings confirmed that he wasn't a part of Borderlands 3. He added, "For the first time, I insisted on getting paid for my performance and all of a sudden they couldn't afford me... maybe next time they should put the $12 million payment from 2K in the Gearbox bank account instead." It's unclear what Eddings means by the $12 million payment from 2K, but it could be a reference to paying voice actors.

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Claptrap plays a major part in all of the Borderlands games, and there are a lot of lines. If he wasn't paid for his performance for the first couple of titles, that's definitely an unfair practice. However, keep in mind that Gearbox hasn't responded to this as of yet so we don't know the whole story. Keep an open mind until we know more about the situation.

On a more positive note, the team revealed that Borderlands 3 wouldn't feature pay-to-win microtransactions — but there would be cosmetic add-ons — and run at 4K resolution on Xbox One X. Luckily, if you prefer playing at 60 frames per second, there's going to be a "favor performance" option which decreases the resolution.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

5 Comments
  • Yeah, it wasn't really articulated well exactly what the accusation was. Was he a programmer, etc., who happened to be also providing voice acting for Claptrap, and he finally decided he should get compensated for doing that extra work? Or was he hired to do the voice acting and wasn't getting paid enough? Again, it's not really clear. If it's the former, then I think he certainly had a leg to stand on, asking to get compensating for doing a different job for the game development. In the company's defense, though, if the value of the voice acting work for that character was not worth what Eddings was asking, it's certainly within their options to say "no". And if they can get the milk for free, as the saying goes, from some other employee, it's up to them. Apparently, they didn't feel the uniqueness of that voice wasn't an issue for that character among fans.
  • According to reddit he was an exec at the company when the first two games were made and didn't get paid for the voice over work.
  • It's not uncommon for people already working for a company to be asked to do something else for that same company without being paid extra.
  • I never understood this, if you are small company or a startup sure why not but when it's a multi-million dollar company, why would you expect me to do something else for free? I never accepted this at my previous work place and they agreed to pay me extra.
  • you'd think with the way you can digitize stuff they could have gotten the voice closer to the original though. just pitch it up a bit. it was obvious it wasn't the same voice.