Randy Pitchford's Legal Drama With Gearbox's Former Lawyer Comes to a Close

Randy Pitchford's Legal Drama With Gearbox's Former Lawyer Comes to a Close

Wade Callender and Randy Pitchford have reached a settlement agreement.

Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford and Wade Callender, the studio's former legal counsel, have reached a settlement agreement in the lawsuit where Callender alleged Pitchford received a secret $12 million bonus for Borderlands.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the dismissal statement notes that "no additional statements will be forthcoming" from either Pitchford or Callender per the confidentiality terms of the settlement. The dismissal also states that the counsel found "the evidence exonerated Randy Pitchford from the allegations against him."

Callender filed his suit against Pitchford at the end of 2018. In addition to Callender's claim that Pitchford personally accepted a $12 million advance from Take-Two Interactive on Borderlands royalties, Callender accused Pitchford of other counts of misconduct. These allegations included a story about a USB drive Pitchford lost at a Medieval Times restaurant, which Callender claimed carried company secrets and "underage" pornography. Ars Technica reported that Pitchford referenced the USB drive story on a podcast and denied possessing illegal content. Gearbox also filed a suit against Callender in late 2018, alleging counts of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

The year has also been marked by other more controversies involving Pitchford. In May, Pitchford publicly accused Game Informer of publishing a "shitty clickbait headline" on a report that verified the existence of purchasable cosmetic items in Borderlands 3. Less than a week later, former Gearbox exec and Claptrap voice actor David Eddings accused Pitchford of refusing to pay for Edding's voice work and of an instance of alleged physical assault.

In the last week, a dispute between Gearbox and labor union SAG-AFTRA has escalated over a series of statements concerning the replacement of Troy Baker in a returning role. In April, Pitchford tweeted that Baker personally turned the role down, but the union and Baker (a SAG-AFTRA member) claim Gearbox refused to accept the union's proposed terms and ceased talks with Baker.

The lawsuits between Pitchford and Callender had little public impact on the trajectory of either Gearbox or Callender. In the time since the suits were filed, Gearbox Software announced and released Borderlands 3, which became 2K Games' fastest-selling game in the company's history within the first ten days of its release. Last month, CNN reported that the National Rifle Associaton hired Wade Callender as the organization's new top lawyer.

Header image via Gearbox's PAX West 2019 panel. Disclosure: USgamer is owned and operated by ReedPop, which also runs the PAX family of shows.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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