David Eddings, the original voice of the one-wheeled, sarcastic Claptrap robot, isn’t going to return in Borderlands 3. Why? A small-scale scandal grew out of this story…
Eddings wrote the following on Twitter: „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’…”, Eddings says, who was a Gearbox exec before moving to Rooster Teeth in 2017.
What’s the 12 million dollar comment about? Allegedly, that’s the amount of cash Randy Pitchford pocketed, even though it was a studio bonus. It’s claimed by Wade Callender, Gearbox’ former lawyer, which is why a lawsuit is happening. (There are lawsuits back and forth there, as it was like a Mexican soap opera. Also, Troy Baker, Rhys’ voice isn’t returning. He got replayed by Ray Chase, the voice of Noctis in Final Fantasy XV.)
But back to the Claptrap-scenario, Pitchford responded on Twitter: „The issue today is that Mr Eddings is bitter and disgruntled about having been terminated. He was offered a 2x scale (twice union rates), he refused. I don’t want him to do it unless he wants to do it, as motivation affects performance.” Union rates, as there is a union of actors in the United States, and their strike recently has affected the industry in general.
Gearbox has since clarified to IGN that all paid employees get the chance to do voice acting in the game, but it is not obligatory to do so. „In this particular case, now that [Eddings] was no longer an employee, we offered him an industry standard rate, but were not able to reach an agreement.” But who will replace Eddings? None other than Jim Foronda, who was Mighty Mask’s voice in Dragon Ball Z Kai. „Here’s my official announcement saying what many of you already figured out: I am voicing Claptrap in Borderlands 3. Thanks for your support– I promise you all that I’ll be the best Clappy I can be,” Foronda wrote on Twitter.
But will there be DLC Vault Hunter characters? In other words, will Borderlands 3’s cast expand post-launch? „We are focused on the main game for now, but my feelings are that it might be better for us to put our time into expanding what the existing vault hunters can do and how interesting their future growth is instead of adding new ones to start over with. [The] data seems to support this,” Pitchford answered on Twitter.
Borderlands 3 is out on September 13 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Epic Games Store on PC.