Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford is in some pretty hot water, it would seem.
As reported by Kotaku, a number of allegations have been made against the CEO as part of a messy legal dispute between Pitchford and Gearbox' former general counsel Wade Callender, who served as the studio's lawyer between 2010 and 2018. The suit was filed just one month after Gearbox sued Callender for allegedly breaching his fiduciary duty, as well as fraud.
Callender claims that Borderlands publisher Take-Two Interactive paid the top exec $12m in secret as an advance against the profits from that title.
That's a pretty extraordinary allegation, but not the most extraordinary one made in this lawsuit. Callender also claims that Pitchford left a USB stick in a restaurant in Dallas, Texas, which contained not only sensitive corporate documents concerning not only Gearbox, but also other including 2K Games, Sega, Sony and Microsoft, in addition to - to quote the lawsuit here - "Randy Pitchford’s personal collection of ‘underage’ pornography.”
The lawsuit also claims that Pitchford held parties where "adult men have reportedly exposed themselves to minors".
Following the publication of this story, Ars Technica found a magic podcast from December 22nd, 2018, in which Pitchford discussed the USB stick incident. The Gearbox exec talked about some of his not suitable for work interests, including cam girls. He also goes into detail on one specific video, saying that the girl was 18.
In a statement to Kotaku, Gearbox said: “The allegations made by a disgruntled former employee are absurd, with no basis in reality or law. We look forward to addressing this meritless lawsuit in court and have no further comment at this time.”
The firm continued: "Gearbox will be filing a grievance with the State Bar of Texas against our former general counsel Wade for disciplinary proceedings for filing a lawsuit that includes accusations that he knows to be untrue. The lawyer’s rules of professional conduct expressly prohibit the filing of documents that are knowingly false. The tell is within Wade’s claim itself – his use of hedged lawyer language and clever application of quotation marks betray that he knows that the impression he is trying to create is based in lies. We imagine that he used the quotation marks and lawyer language in hopes that will give him some angles of defence when we inevitably take action against him for false statements. Wade is engaged in a shakedown and he’s clearly using deceit and lies to try to cause damage by promoting a narrative that he knows is false."