You know how amateur magician and some-time Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford wears awful shirts? Well, the Borderlands boss has chanced upon this idea to auction off his old, used clothing to aid a charity. Which charity? No clue. Because this is the timeline we deserve. Update: We now know, see below.
The auction (and even the URL is cursed) lists Pitchford’s old, unwanted clothing each at a suggested value of $400. 47 of them. Each more hideous and more already-worn-by-Randy-Pitchford than the last.
Now, there’s a version of this story where Pitchford is doing this as a stunt to gain attention for a deeply worthy cause, perhaps a life-saving charity that’s really touched his heart (like all of these shirts too nearly have). We are not experiencing that version. The auction’s tweet suggests it will be for “developer scholarships,” but nowhere in the tweet, nor on the auction’s page, does it say which ones. Perhaps a truly wonderful one. But we don’t know.
Gearbox fans may have noticed the loud shirts worn by our head honcho over the years.
Now these shirts can be yours! Randy is auctioning off dozens of garments with all proceeds funding a developer scholarship.
Blind bidding runs until Sept. 9!
👉 https://t.co/CP1tsDoRhB pic.twitter.com/dKnZS7iROJ
— GearboxOfficial (@GearboxOfficial) September 2, 2022
GamesRadar, which spotted this madness first, dug around on Gearbox’s own site and found that the company runs its own scholarship program, with grants between $500 and $1,500, along with offers of face-time for classrooms. It is indeed a registered charity, founded in 2019 by educators Isabel Mendiola and Peter Haydock, and called Gearbox Labs. But we should stress that this specific charity is not named anywhere by Gearbox in promoting this auction. The “About This Auction” section on the Bid Beacon site has simply been left empty.
We have reached out to Gearbox to ask if they can clear up this mystery, and will update the story should they reply.
Disturbingly, the Bid Beacon site reports that some shirts have received multiple bids, although everything has been listed as a “blind bid,” such that we cannot see how close to that suggested $400 anyone has offered. I have been unable to confirm whether the site accepts negative numbers.
Of course, if this really is being done to support a charity bearing the company’s own name, not only is it so damn weird they don’t say so, but you might want to ask questions about why a developer—which itself made a net of approximately $180,000,000 in the last year—needs to sell old clothes to provide funds. Let alone a company owned by the all-consuming Embracer Group.
Meanwhile, no thank you.
Updated: 09/06/22, 10.00a.m. ET: We’ve just heard back from Gearbox, who tell us the supported charity is not their own scholarship, but rather the ESA Foundation’s. You can find out more about how they support up-and-coming developers via that link.