David Eddings says Gearbox just didn't want to pay him.

If you've seen any promotional material for Borderlands 3 in the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed that Claptrap sounds quite a bit different from what you're used to. This is because David Eddings, the voice behind the robot in all of the previous games has been replaced by Jim Foronda.

The reason? Money. Specifically, the claim from Eddings that Gearbox didn't want to pay Eddings for his work in Borderlands 3.

Yesterday on Twitter, a fan asked Eddings if he was still voicing Claptrap in Borderlands 3. Eddings provided the following response.

There is at least one to clear up here. From what Eddings said, it sounds as though he was not paid for his previous work as a voice actor. Instead, he was an executive at Gearbox, the vice president of licensing and business development to be precise, and had taken on the voice work role without additional pay. Eddings left Gearbox in 2017 for a position with Rooster Teeth as head of their game publishing branch.

From what Eddings suggests in the above tweet, it sounds like Eddings actually wanted to get paid for the voice work this time as he was no longer under the employ of Gearbox and Gearbox didn't want to. At least, Edding wanted more than what Gearbox was offering. We don't actually know how much that is, be it $1 or $1 billion. Whatever it was, wasn't enough for Eddings. Gearbox did confirm the story with IGN. A representative from Gearbox shared the following statement.

"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."
It does seem a bit odd, however, that Eddings would supposedly want more than an established voice actor like Jim Foronda. Again, Eddings main job isn't voice acting. He is more on the business side of things who just happened to be a good fit for Claptrap. Foronda's main profession is doing professional voice work for games and shows. You would think that if anybody would be paid more, it would be Foronda.

When called out about this Eddings situation on Twitter, Randy Pitchford says that Eddings was "paid very handsomely during his employment" and claims that Eddings turned down an offer for Borderlands 3.

However, given Pitchford's track record, it's hard to take what he says as the full truth, or even a half truth in many cases. A similar situation came up recently where Troy Baker was upset that he wasn't re-cast to voice the character of Rhys in Borderlands 3. Rhys is a character voiced by Troy Baker who made their debut in Tales from the Borderlands.

Baker says that he was never asked to return as the voice of Rhys for Borderlands 3. He shared his disappointment about not getting to return to the character on Twitter, during an interview, and during a panel at a fan convention. Pitchford responded to this by saying Baker was asked to return but turned down the offer.

Now, I'm not going to tell you which person I believe in all this, but I will say that one person is a known liar and the other is Troy Baker. That's all I'm saying.

Speaking of lies, Pitchford revealed some Borderlands 3 gameplay details this past week! During the big live streamed event, he made the claim that Borderlands 3 "won't have mictrotransactions!" Gearbox then added this additional information in an interview with Game Informer:

"We're selling cosmetic items, but we're not going to nickel and dime players," said Gearbox's Paul Sage in an interview with us. "DLC will come down the line, but the game won't have anything excessive."
So Borderlands 3 won't have microtransactions but it will have the ability for users to purchase optional pieces of cosmetic items for small amounts of cash made via online transactions? If I didn't know any better, I'd say that those are the very definition of microtransactions right there.

The very idea of "microtransaction" came about in roughly 2006 when Microsoft first offered Kameo cosmetic items via the Xbox marketplace for $2.50. Shortly after came the famous Horse Armor Pack for The Elder Scrolls V: Oblivion. This was an armor set for your horse that was sold to consumers for between $1.99 (PC) and $2.50 (Xbox 360).

Pitchford saying that Borderlands 3 won't have microtransactions sure does come across as a lie when given this added context. Cosmetic purchases like that are literally microtransactions. They are literally the identical type of content that birthed the term microtransactions as pointed out above.

Gearbox went on to clarify what Pitchford had meant to say. Borderlands 3 won't have loot boxes. There are no means to purchase RNG style drops with real world money. There are also no items available for sale that will have any ability to alter stats. So yes, Borderlands 3 will indeed have microtransactions but not "F2P style" microtransactions. Alas, if only Randy Pitchford had said as much to begin with, instead of choosing to go on multiple Twitter rants against media outlets, journalists, and fans.

It must also be noted here that Borderlands 2 contained quite a few cosmetic microtransactions available for purchase after its initial release. Though it seems as though Pitchford may not agree that these purchasable cosmetic items are "microtransactions." You can see a list of those below starting at the $0.99 "Commando Madness Pack" and going down from there.

Borderlands 2 microtransactions

I have no issues with these games having cosmetic microtransactions, but don't try to beat around the bush or call them anything but what they are. If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then you had best believe I'm doing to call it a duck.