(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: "ca-pub-9298851918236905", enable_page_level_ads: true }); Former Gearbox Lawyer Accuses CEO Randy Pitchford Of Taking Secret $12 Million Bonus In Lawsuit Gearbox Calls 'Absurd' [UPDATE] | Kozilva

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Former Gearbox Lawyer Accuses CEO Randy Pitchford Of Taking Secret $12 Million Bonus In Lawsuit Gearbox Calls 'Absurd' [UPDATE]

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Former Gearbox Lawyer Accuses CEO Randy Pitchford Of Taking Secret $12 Million Bonus In Lawsuit Gearbox Calls 'Absurd' [UPDATE]

The former general counsel of game studio Gearbox (BorderlandsAliens: Colonial Marines) and CEO Randy Pitchford are suing one another in a messy legal battle that sees both men accused of violating their legal duties to the company. The suit against Pitchford is full of sensational allegations, including the accusation that the Gearbox CEO received a secret $12 million bonus from publisher Take-Two Interactive as an advance against Borderlands profits.
Wade Callender, who served as Gearbox’s lawyer from 2010 until 2018, filed a suit on December 21, 2018 accusing Pitchford of violating various contracts involving both Gearbox and a separate real estate company that they both owned, as well as Callender’s own employment contract.
The allegations made by a disgruntled former employee are absurd, with no basis in reality or law,” said a Gearbox spokesperson in a statement to Kotaku. “We look forward to addressing this meritless lawsuit in court and have no further comment at this time.”
Callender’s suit was filed one month after Gearbox sued him, in a separate case, for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Gearbox alleged that Callender borrowed money from Gearbox for a home loan and tuition that he did not pay back in full, and that Callender “abused the privilege of credit card access by charging unapproved, wholly personal expenses, including family vacations, gun club memberships and firearms accessories, and trying to get six-pack abs.” Gearbox also accused Callender of destroying evidence of the home loan agreement he made with the studio. You can read that suit in full below.
According to Callender’s lawsuit, which you can also read in full below, Callender and Pitchford were longtime friends (backed up by an old tweet from Pitchford) whose relationship fell apart over the last two years.
The lawsuit alleges that Pitchford struck a deal in 2016 to receive a “personal, secretive ‘Executive Bonus’ 0f $12,000,000 to be paid directly to Pitchford entity called ‘Pitchford Entertainment Media Magic, LLC.’” That bonus, Callender and his lawyers argue, is an advance upon royalties that would otherwise go to Gearbox’s staff. “This is particularly tragic exploitation,” the lawsuit states, “because these millions are being syphoned to Randy Pitchford’s personal accounts instead of funding the development of Borderlands.”
Callender’s most lurid allegation against Pitchford is an accusation surrounding an event that he says occurred in 2014. Callender says that Pitchford left a USB drive in a Dallas, Texas restaurant containing sensitive corporate documents for Gearbox and its partners including 2K Games, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, and others. Says the lawsuit: “Upon information and belief, Randy Pitchford’s USB drive also contained Randy Pitchford’s personal collection of ‘underage’ pornography.”
Several hours after the publication of this story, Ars Technica tracked down a magic podcast on which Pitchford had appeared last year. Around the same time, a Gearbox spokesperson also e-mailed the podcast to Kotaku. In an episode that went live December 22, 2018, the day after the lawsuit was filed, Pitchford told his version of the USB stick story—for the first time, he said. Pitchford described his enjoyment of “camgirl” pornography—in which a woman streams live erotic content—and explained that he had saved a porn video of a camgirl on said memory stick before it was lost.
“It’s a woman who is masturbating,” Pitchford said, “and when she has some experience that appears as if she’s having an orgasm, a huge amount of fluid comes out of her vagina.”
“This is not a sex worker—this is a fucking magician,” he added, saying he had purchased one of her videos and put it on the USB stick. “Some kid, an employee of the Medieval Times, discovered this memory stick, took it home, and accessed it because it was before we were password-protecting, and discovered secrets of my company and future games in development, and also discovered the pornography. And it was barely legal porn. This girl’s handle was ‘Only 18.’”

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