Troy Baker Reveals He Wasn’t in Borderlands 3 Because Gearbox “Wouldn’t Go Union”

Recently, VG24/7 got the chance to talk with Troy Baker and found out exactly why he didn’t reprise his role as Rhys in Borderlands 3.

In April of this year, Troy Baker stated that he wouldn’t be returning to his role as Rhys from Borderlands 3 even though we witnessed the character would indeed be part of the cast during the trailer at the PAX East Gearbox panel leaving fans confused. This news then lead to a bit of a commotion which saw Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford taking to Twitter in reply to a question about why Troy wasn’t returning to the much-loved character. “You’ll have to ask Troy,” Pitchford said. “I was told by the audio director that he turned it down.”

Pitchford continued to state that he didn’t think it mattered that much if Troy played Rhys and to play the game to find out “Fortunately, with how Rhys appears in the game, I don’t think it actually matters at all. You’ll see for yourself when the game comes out and you may disagree with me on that or not,” Pitchford explained.

After what seemed like a lifetime of drama, Troy had enough and said during an interview with OnlySP  “I said I’d love to come back. They said I wasn’t coming back. Their timeline tells an interesting story. I think it’s interesting that Randy Pitchford tweeted out that I turned it down and then said he heard that I turned it down. So maybe…I would fact-check before I tweeted out to the internet.” If you think that it ends here, think again.

Kirk McKeand, Deputy Editor at VG 24/7, got the opportunity to talk with Troy Baker during a fan event for Retro Replay where they discussed the real reason why he didn’t come back to play the character of Rhys again in Borderlands 3“So they came to me, and they were like, ‘Do you want to do this? which I said, ‘Absolutely.’ Baker expressed “And then they made it impossible for me to do the role. It had nothing to do with money, it had nothing to do with money. They just simply would not go about doing it the way that we needed it to be done. So then it was like, I never said no.”

With Kirk wanting to probe deeper to understand what he meant by this and if it was due to scheduling conflicts, Baker responded “No, it was simply a matter of they wouldn’t go union,” he replied. “And I can’t do a non-union gig. And without getting too deep into the weeds of that, we had long conversations about this. We always knew going into it, that this was going to be the thing. They were going to take these characters, and put them from the Tales from the Borderlands series from Telltale, into Borderlands proper. I’ve been waiting for this call. They were like, ‘Do you want to do this?’ And I said, ‘Yes’. They never, because they would never move from that position. I’m not mad. It’s invariably a completely different character, but it still stings.”

Unionization in video games is a hot topic and rightly so. After years of studio closures, mass layoffs, and long, unpaid crunchtime like we’ve seen at RockStar, to name a few, it’s absolutely critical that companies within the gaming world come together to unionize so this news by Troy is a surprising, if not an unfamiliar occurrence. We will, of course, bring you more on this story as it unfolds.

Borderlands 3 is available now on Xbox One, PS4, and PC exclusively on the Epic Games Store.


Cover picture courtesy of OSP

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