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Oh God, Ew, Randy Pitchford Wants You To Buy His Horrible Used Shirts

It's for a 'development scholarship,' but in a deeply strange move, Gearbox didn't say which one

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A row of Randy Pitchford's used shirts hang on a rail.
Photo: Gearbox

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.

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GamesRadar spotted this madness first. They guessed at a particular scholarship charity that shared the name “Gearbox,” but we’ve since learned they are not associated with Gearbox at all. This isn’t helped when the “About This Auction” section on the Bid Beacon site has simply been left empty. (Update: We’ve changed this paragraph to remove references to the charity, since we’ve now learned they are completely unaffiliated. The Bid Beacon auction has also now been updated to mention the correct charity, seemingly as a result of our article.)

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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.

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If you need this text description, then you have been saved from seeing this array of awful, worn shirts.
Screenshot: Bid Beacon

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.

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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.

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Updated: 09/07/22, 16.38p.m. ET: This article has been updated to remove a reference to an unaffiliated charity, and to add updates within the text.