Developer Who Called Borderlands Character Racist Is Now Out Of A Job

This weekend, we reported that some players took umbrage with Tiny Tina, a character from Borderlands 2 and how she used "black lingo." Gearbox was receptive to these players, listening to their concerns and even offering to change the character in future updates should they be convinced that Tina's dialogue was racist.

Mike Sacco, a creative developer with the World of Warcraft trading card game, was one of the players involved in the dispute. Today, he tweeted that he no longer works at Cryptozoic.

The reasons why are not clear.

I reached out to Sacco for comment, but he said he cannot legally say anything on the matter. I've also contacted Cryptozoic, and will update this story if I hear back from them.


    Honestly getting fired over voicing his opinion seems kinda wrong to me if that were the reason. But at the same time i wouldn't want some idiot who thinks tina is racist working for me (because clearly they lack proper judgement and logic.reasoning skills) so I'm in support of it.

      He wasn't.

      UPDATE: Cryptozoic responds as follows:

      To clarify, Mike Sacco was never an employee of Cryptozoic Entertainment. He was a contractor.

      We asked him not represent himself as an employee of Cryptozoic. After the message was delivered, Mike quit. We like Mike and we are as surprised by his reaction as you are.

      Check the US version:

      In short, the guy is a drama llama.

        Wow.. what an absolute jackass...

        So he's playing all this 'legally I can't say anything' stuff up to promote himself?

        Yeah i picked up as much from his responses to others who were disagreeing with him after seeing the article.

      He was literally saying that whites should not be associated with "urban" languange. It's not a case that Tiny Tina is racist, but rather he himself is a white suprematist that honestly believes white people should not be allowed to talk like this.

      If you're voicing your intolerant opinion about something, more specifically that black people are inferior to whites, then you have to expect that companies will try to distance them from you for good reasons.

        Yes. He took exception to her dialouge, therefore, he MUST be a white supremacist. *smacks head*

    This should be a lesson to idiots claiming racism over everything, but I doubt they have jobs in the first place.

      Hopefully the ZOMG EVERYTHING IS RACIST lynch mob takes note of this. I was totally expecting this to go in reverse and Anthony Burch was going to get fired, thankfully common sense and not PC rubbish prevailed.

    He wasn't talking about the company. They had nothing to do with his argument. I'm 100% against them firing him for starting this. It wasn't like it was hate male or discrimanatory conduct, he was actually having a respectful argument with him about her being a racist character, even if his opinion wasn't right the way about it was totally fine. So yeah, this is ridiculous.

      What's your problem with men? :P

      We asked him not represent himself as an employee of Cryptozoic. After the message was delivered, Mike quit.
      He wasn't fired, it might be ridiculous but it is all him

        he wasn't fired! the people who pay his wages simply asked him not to say he worked for them. dirty contractors!

          No, the people who pay his contract rate asked him not to call himself an employee. Employees and contractors are different entities to companies, particularly for tax purposes.

    Whatever his opinion on the matter, it seems to me more to be about his conduct and the way he went about voicing his opinion. He and everyone else in America may have the right to free speech but there are ways of doing it that reflect poorly on the company he works for... there are limits.

      Free speech shall not be infringed by the government- a private company can fire you for whatever speech they want

        Exactly, you won't have to worry about the government persecuting you over 'radical' views, but it doesn't mean there aren't consequences for voicing an opinion, especially if you do it in an inappropriate manner.

        Yeh I know.. my point was that a lot of people think that freedom of speech means they can say anything they want, any time they want, however they want.. but there are limits.. just like everything.

    I disagree with what this guy said, but being fired over an opinion is BULLSHIT. Social Media claims another victim.

      We asked him not represent himself as an employee of Cryptozoic. After the message was delivered, Mike quit.

        If you honestly believe that, good. I guarantee at the very least he was pushed out the door.

    Probably not fair to get sacked for saying what he did, even if it was stupid. Although, if his intial comments on Tina indicate how sensitive he is, he might not have been that easy to work with in the first place.

    Last edited 05/02/13 2:50 pm

      That's sort of what I was thinking. This really doesn't seem like the sort of online argument that would get you fired (unless they happened to be trying to secure a working relationship with Gearbox), so maybe they were looking for an excuse or he'd been warned before.

    Ouch. I disagreed with the guy and thought he was kind of a dick about it, but that doesn't seem like reason enough to fire him. I hope there's more to it than that, otherwise it's pretty poor form from Cryptozoic.

    Leaping to conclusions. He said he "knew this day would come" and that he already had applications in the field. To assume this minor Twitter flare-up over nothing was the sole cause of his termination is ridiculous and inflammatory.

    It might have been one incident in a pattern of behaviour, or there might have been long-term mutual disconnect between him and the business he worked for.

    Last edited 05/02/13 3:00 pm

    Deserved, If it was a private conversation it would be different, but unprofessionally publicly showing your stupid opinions affects the company.

    Did he have Cryptozoic listed in his profile when he talked about Tiny Tina?
    If so then Cryptozoic have every right to fire him. When you list the company you work for in a social media profile AT ALL you are representing that company in everything you say.

    Besides, he seems like someone who gets offended very easily and all this polilitical correctness bullshit goes too far sometimes.

    What happened to imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? I'm white and I use the word badonkadonk. Is that still OK or do I have to say b-word from now on?

    I would have fired him for being pathetic.

    Gearbox was receptive to these players, listening to their concerns and even offering to change the character in future updates...

    ...please don't.

    Boy this guy sounds like a right bloody bellend.
    I'd like to say he deserved to lose his job for starting a whole thing over a nonissue, but that's a bit silly and obviously not a proportionate reaction.
    Having said that, if I understand the above comments correctly (and assuming the "firing" company is telling the truth), he quit on his own accord and now wants more attention for it?
    If that's true, well, right bloody bellend.

    If a black person starts talking like a middle aged white person, how rasict is that?

      its not. reverse racism is a myth.

      It's called a Dave Chappelle skit.

      So you're saying that black people talk just like Tiny Tina does? You're making the same mistake as Mike did.

    The same world of Warcraft with Jamaican trolls, Italian goblins etc? Lawl, this guy is a joke.

      its the exact same mike sacco from WoW insider

        I thought the name sounded familiar.

        He's always seemed like a reasonable guy. There definitely seems to be a lot of backstory we aren't getting.

    I love that on his Twitter he is acting like he is the victim still. It wasn't the fact that he wasn't allowed to express his opinion (as stupid as it was), it was the fact he caused drama with some pretty high profile people in the gaming community and implied that he was employed by Cryptozoic. Protecting your public image should never be looked down apon, and anyone trying to look like a victim because of it are just childish and looking for attention they don't deserve. On the topic of his opinion, he was being racist by bringing up a non issue and calling it racist. If actual people that would be offended by it weren't then neither should anyone else, just stupid.

      On the topic of his opinion, he was being racist by bringing up a non issue and calling it racist.

      whu? that makes no sense. he might have been a twat, but not a racist

        He said that the dialect used by Tiny Tina was 'black lingo'. So yes he himself was being racist, saying that black people talk like she does.

    So he's not an employee, he quit, but they wanted him to keep working there?


    That 'Wacko Sacco!' Glad to know I can keep saying Badonkadonk without fear of being called a Racist prick.

    Last edited 05/02/13 11:43 pm

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