Randy Pitchford

Last updated

Randy Pitchford
NationalityAmerican
OccupationPresident and CEO of Gearbox Software and Pitchford Entertainment

Randy Pitchford is an American businessman. He co-founded video game development studio Gearbox Software in 1999, and was president and CEO for the company.

Contents

Early life and education

Pitchford's father worked within the United States intelligence system, creating high-technology equipment for other agents. When Randy was five years old, his father brought home one of the computers he had developed in 1975, and later gave Randy his own computer, built by himself, when Randy was seven. [1] Pitchford learned BASIC to try to emulate arcade games of the time. [1] He wrote his first game (a 16-room text adventure) when he was about 11 or 12 on the machine. Pitchford stated that he played Colossal Cave Adventure and was so enamored by the game that he used a hex editor to examine the code and figure out some of the programming concepts behind it. [2]

After high school, Pitchford went to University of California, Los Angeles, where his future wife encouraged him to pursue a career in entertainment. [1] While he then proceeded to do video games on the side, he continued to perform as a professional magician in Hollywood to help pay for school. He is a member of The Magic Castle in Los Angeles. [1]

Career

Pitchford began his career at 3D Realms in Texas working on games such as Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior . [1] A group of 3D Realms developers and programmers left the company to form Rebel Boat Rocker around 1997, and Pitchford joined them in May 1997. The company's first game was to be the first-person shooter Prax War to be published by Electronic Arts (EA). Pitchford served as the lead level designer as well as the public relations head. However, EA opted to cancel the game around January 1999. [3] [4] With no publisher-backed project, Pitchford joined four other Rebel Boat Rockers, some his former 3D Realms colleagues, to found Gearbox Software in February 1999. [5]

Overall, Pitchford's credited titles have sold more than 100 million copies. [6] Games he has overseen at Gearbox have included Borderlands , [7] Bulletstorm , [8] and Borderlands 3 . [9]

Crowdfunding

In 2013, Pitchford received an executive producer credit on the film Director's Cut , as well as Penn Jillette's ponytail, for pledging US$25,000 to its crowdfunding campaign. [10] In March 2018, Pitchford announced he had joined the advisory board for Fig, a mixed investor/crowdfunding service for video game development. [11]

Litigation

In 2018, former Gearbox lawyer Wade Callender filed a lawsuit against Pitchford, [12] that alleged that Pitchford had left a USB drive containing sensitive Gearbox information and "child pornography" at a restaurant in 2014. [13] [14] Pitchford clarified that the pornographic film on the USB drive was not child pornography and stated that he had saved the pornography for the purposes of studying a sexual act performed by the female actress that he claimed to be similar to a "magic trick." [12] [15] Gearbox filed a grievance with the State Bar of Texas against Callender for "filing a lawsuit that includes accusations that he knows to be untrue". [13] [14] Callender later provided documents that he claimed backed up his position. [16] An August 2019 filing further alleged Pitchford and his employers of contempt. [17] In October 2019, both sides announced that the lawsuit had been dropped, and a joint statement by the parties called the issue a misunderstanding, and further stated that Pitchford had been exonerated. [18]

In May 2019, David Eddings, the voice actor for the Borderlands character "Claptrap" accused Pitchford of assault during the 2017 Game Developers Conference. According to Eddings, Pitchford physically shoved Eddings after mentioning to Pitchford that he had been told someone was attempting to buy Gearbox as well as mentioning the Callendar lawsuit. Eddings was let go shortly after the event, which he states was why he did not voice Claptrap in Borderlands 3. Pitchford denied he assaulted Eddings, and Gearbox stated they took the matter seriously but made no further comment as it was a personal matter. [19]

Personal life

Pitchford has a son. [20]

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