Back in November, the Borderlands and Aliens: Colonial Marines studio Gearbox Software filed a go well with towards their former lawyer, Wade Callender, accusing him of “exploit[ing] Gearbox’s generosity and trust for his own personal gain.” The go well with was not notably attention-grabbing, alleging that Callender didn’t absolutely pay again a mortgage he borrowed to safe his home, and that he used a enterprise bank card for private bills.
Then, final month, Callender counter-sued, accusing Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford of “siphoning” a $12 million (£9.34m) “secretive ‘Executive Bonus,’” in addition to various considerably extra salacious particulars which have rocketed the case into the general public eye.
A narrative by Kotaku consists of the complete textual content of each lawsuits. Where Gearbox’s is written virtually completely in dispassionate legalese, Callender’s opens by calling Pitchford “a manipulative and morally bankrupt CEO, who shamefully exploited his oldest friend, a Texas attorney and military veteran Wade Callender.” It goes on to allege that the $12 million bonus, supposedly taken whereas Gearbox workers have been denied raises as a result of low money reserves, “is just the tip of the Pitchford iceberg.”
Callender’s go well with subsequent relays a narrative a couple of misplaced USB drive. The drive, left behind by Pitchford in a Medieval Times restaurant, seems to have housed each delicate company materials and pornography. Where Callender and Pitchford disagree – and the place the go well with goes from dry monetary bickering to public drama – is what sort of porn.
The go well with reads: “Upon information and belief, Randy Pitchford’s USB drive also contained Randy Pitchford’s personal collection of ‘underage’ pornography.”
Gearbox strenuously deny this, telling Kotaku that they are going to be submitting an additional grievance towards Callender “for filing a lawsuit that includes accusations that he knows to be untrue.”
As unearthed by Ars Technica, Pitchford instructed his personal model of the USB story in a podcast revealed in the future after Callender’s lawsuit was filed. As he tells it, the drive contained a video was of a intercourse employee who was not underage – simply.
“It was ‘barely legal’ porn,” he says. “This girl’s handle was ‘Only 18.’” Moreover, he claims that he had stored the video as a result of he wished to determine a magic trick carried out inside (although the trick was itself sexual).
The podcast story, nevertheless, doesn’t deal with an additional allegation made by Callender, who claims that Pitchford “siphoned Gearbox profits to fund parties… At these events – which Pitchford and his wife affectionately term ‘Peacock Parties’ – adult men have reportedly exposed themselves to minors, to the amusement of Randy Pitchford.”
Gearbox once more deny these allegations, telling Kotaku that the Pitchfords host selection performances that are filmed, however will not be known as Peacock Parties and don’t contain these acts.
Further fuelling the hearth is a single tweet from Gearbox’s former vp of enterprise improvement (and voice of Borderlands’ Claptrap) David Eddings studying “Yes, it’s true.” His tweet doesn’t straight reference these occasions, however (and due to this fact) it has led to additional hypothesis about what, if something, he is perhaps confirming.
Ultimately, there’s to this point been little or no proof to assist something that’s been stated on any aspect. It’s particularly value noting that if Callender, Eddings, or anybody else had information of Pitchford exploiting minors, it could certainly be a case for felony proceedings, not a civil go well with. Ars Technica reviews that the Frisco, Texas police division would not have any open investigations involving Pitchford.
But the allegations in Callender’s lawsuit have elevated what was as soon as an peculiar authorized dispute right into a messy public spectacle, and it doesn’t appear prone to die down shortly.