October 3, 2019 The legal battle between Gearbox, Randy Pitchford, and Wade Callender has reached a settlement.
In November, Gearbox filed a suit against its former general counsel Wade Callender, alleging that the lawyer misused company funds and failed to fully pay back personal loans from the studio. A month later, Callender filed a separate suit against CEO Randy Pitchford and Gearbox which makes some extreme allegations. Those include the claim that Pitchford pocketed a secret $12 million bonus as an advance against Borderlands royalties, and even more serious types of misconduct.
The suit came to a close today, as the two parties have reached a settlement which has “exonerated Randy Pitchford from the allegations against him,” according to a joint statement from Callendar, Pitchford, and Gearbox. You can read the statement in full here, via Business Insider.
“Upon review of all the evidence in the case, it was of the opinion of counsel that the evidence exonerated Randy Pitchford from the allegations against him. All misunderstandings between the parties have been corrected, and apologies were exchanged. Because the parties are mutually bound by confidentiality, no additional statements will be forthcoming.”
Details on the legal disputes came via Kotaku, which also reprinted the suits in full. Gearbox told the site that the allegations from the “former employee are absurd, with no basis in reality or law”
Gearbox’s suit said that the company gave Callender a $300,000 cash loan in 2014 in order to purchase a home when he “fell on hard times.” Gearbox said the house is believed to be valued in excess of $900,000. The company claimed that this loan was the subject of a written agreement that Callender destroyed, and that he since failed to pay back that loan in full, contrary to the agreement.
The company also claimed that Callender misused a company credit card for unapproved personal purchases, including – among other things – “trying to get six-pack abs.” Gearbox further claimed that it paid Callender’s legal fees in a personal dispute taking place throughout 2017 and 2018, and made another loan to him for tuition in order to pursue an executive MBA programme.
Callender’s suit, which targets not just Gearbox but also Pitchford, claimed that Pitchford received a secret $12 million royalty payment from Take-Two, intended as an advance on Borderlands royalties. The suit alleged that the money wasn’t used to fund development of the game, but instead directed to Pitchford’s personal accounts.