Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford and the Borderlands studio’s former general counsel are currently embroiled in a messy legal dispute, accusing each other of, among other things, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties, resulting in some extraordinary allegations being made.
Callender, for instance, claims that Pitchford struck a “side-deal” with 2K Games to secure a “personal, secretive ‘Executive Bonus'” of $12 million USD. He also alleges Pitchford agreed to have his private “bonuses” (whether these are one and the same is unclear) counted as advances upon the royalties owed to Gearbox employees. As such, he says, employees “wont receive any of their accrued royalty or ‘profit’ shares until their work repays Randy’s bonuses”.
According to Kotaku, which broke the story, the fracas began when Gearbox sued Callender (a close friend of Pitchford’s for over 40-years) for allegedly failing to repay money borrowed toward personal legal fees, as well as a $300,000 USD cash loan intended to help finance a new home purchase. On the latter point, Gearbox claims that Callender “knowingly and intentionally destroyed the written and executed Home Loan Agreement, which would prove to be evidence that would be harmful to his potential defenses in the case”.