Randy Pitchford Buys American Magic Association’s Magic Castle
Gearbox founder and CEO Randy Pitchford has recently purchased the Magic Castle, a historic LA landmark that's home to The Acadamy of Magical Arts (AMA), of which Pitchford is himself a member.
As reported by Kotaku, Pitchford is the first new owner of the building, named a cultural monument by the city in 1989, in over 50 years.
"I’m proud to be trusted to both give back to the place that made me to become the custodian of the Magic Castle and to work with its members and the Larsen family to ensure our most incredible club house grows and thrives for decades to come," Pitchford said in a statement.
However, not everything is rosy at the Magic Castle. Its management, staff, performers, and academy members have been accused of numerous abuses including sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination due to race or gender.
Since the LA Times report on the allegations, a diversity and inclusion committee has been created to advise the board of directors on how to make the Magic Castle a more welcoming place. The general manager at the time, Joe Furlow, resigned and has been replaced by Hervé Lévy, an openly gay man who has implemented a zero tolerance policy on discrimination, reports Hey SoCal.
Pitchford doesn't have the best image within the video game industry. He was accused of assaulting David Eddings, the voice of Borderlands' Claptrap. He also apparently lost a USB drive with sensitive Gearbox documents and porn on it. Pitchford claimed the pron was relevant reference material for a magic trick. It will be interesting to see how this influences performances at the Magic Castle under Pitchford's stewardship.
Despite this, Pitchford won an award for Best CEO this year. It was given by the Texas group Tech Titans for the way he handled Gearbox's merger with Embracer Group back in early 2021.
Pitchford has also been accused of withholding promised bonuses to Gearbox staff, something God of War director Cory Barlog called him out for in a now-deleted tweet.
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