The reputation of Gearbox Software is one that went from an undulating wave into a straight slant off the side of a cliff. It’s not hard to see why the company’s rep has been tarnished over the years; it wasn’t just one incident that dispelled any sense of enamor with the development outfit, it was a collection of indisputably grotesque actions that led to their current position, and it’s all been outlined in a 45 minute mini-documentary.
YouTuber ShortFatOtaku did the due diligence to deep-dive into the Gearbox controversies that have sparked up over the years. You can check out the 45 minute video below.
The video starts with a Twitlonger from a supposed Gearbox employee who talks about how the writing in Borderlands 3 has declined, how Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has anger issues, and that if their demands weren’t met they would upload a copy of the game to Pirate Bay before its release. Of course, the last part didn’t happen and ShortFatOtaku questioned whether it was a legit post by an actual employee – although he did mention that some of what was mentioned in the post did align with what was actually happening at Gearbox.
The video covers Pitchford’s shilling for the Epic Games Store, and antagonizing gamers for review bombing Borderlands games for Borderlands 3 being an Epic Games Store exclusive.
There’s a brief overview of FL4K’s pronoun controversy, where “misgendering” the fictional character could result in you being banned from the Gearbox forums.
ShortFatOtaku also recounted the Supmatto incident, where 2K Games and Gearbox bullied the Borderlands super-fan off of YouTube after sending thugs to his house and mass-flagging his content.
As pointed out in the mini-doc, things continued to devolve for Gearbox with Borderlands 3‘s Denuvo DRM, which works as a virtual machine to hog down your PC.
But what could a video about Gearbox’s controversies be without mentioning Aliens: Colonial Marines? It wouldn’t be a real video at all, which is exactly why a portion of the video recounts how Gearbox used the money from Sega for Aliens: Colonial Marines to finish producing Borderlands 2 and Duke Nukem Forever.
We briefly get a recap of Wade Callender’s lawsuit against Pitchford – which was recently dismissed by a Texas court in early October – along with former Claptrap voice actor, David Eddings, bringing up an altercation at GDC with Pitchford where it was alleged that the Gearbox president physically assaulted Eddings. That’s not to mention the claims that the original Borderlands plagiarized the art-style and themes from the short-film CodeHunters.
Essentially it’s one long video giving you a number of reasons as to why you shouldn’t support Gearbox anymore, and why you probably shouldn’t buy Borderlands 3.
I’m sure plenty of people will continue to justify Gearbox Software and the Borderlands franchise, and if the video ever gains several hundred thousand views, someone from the establishment media will likely do a piece defending Pitchford and trying to poke holes in the video, but that’s to be expected these days.
(Thanks for the news tip Mugen Tenshin)