Interzone came to Perth in 2006 to establish a large game studio. I was a keen supporter of their plans at the time, and even worked with them over a period of 12 months. Now, they appear to have unofficially folded and closed the Perth Studio sometime last week, owing millions of dollars to the ATO and employees. Reading the above article make me rather angry, and sad too.
This is apparently the reason that the CEO, Marty Brickey chose not to pay employees.
If we had paid the employees, there was no more money for operations. - Marty Brickey
Mr Brickey, I personally know of some employees who currently cannot afford to eat, due to being stuck in a foreign country and being ineligible for welfare assistance. How does this stack up against your need to operate?
This next quote is a gem, do some maths and you will wonder where all the money has gone.
Mr Brickey said he had personally invested $8 million in the company, as part of about $30 million in capital required to launch and maintain the Interzone business for the past four years.
This statement directly contradicts his words at the Kotaku Blog:
After being directed to your article I felt it was necessary to offer some corrections... IZ has not received millions in funding.
Let's leave the lies alone, because the arrogance is even more entertaining. Mr Brickey actually feels that he is owed money!
In March 2007, Interzone received $500,000 in state government funds as part of a three-year deal announced by the then industry and enterprise minister, Francis Logan.
But Mr Brickey said this had not been paid in full, claiming to be owed more than $120,000.
So let me get this straight, Marty operates a company illegaly for 18 months, doesn't pay his debts, exploits and abuses employees then "appropriates" the unpaid-for intellectual property from Perth... and has the insolence to claim the state government owes him $120,000?
Finally, the article ends:
However, after what’s occurred during the past 12 months, he said he would be happy to never return to WA.
I suspect Mr Brickey hoped the former IZ employees would slip quietly away, however they are determined to raise a ruckus and see justice done.
Mr Brickey himself seems to be spoiling for a fight. He has already directly threatened current and former employees.
"Eight of our major investors are already independently retaining council (sic) in Perth and are reading (sic) to strike hard and fast at anyone committing tortuous (sic) interference, slander, or liable (sic) against the company"
This of course, never happened and appears to be just another attempt to stall via misdirection and lies, while his "agent" made a getaway with the IP.
Then, there is this beautiful sequence of comments at Kotaku:
February 16, 2010 at 10:36 PM
If I were you guys I wouldn’t be sitting around posting poison comments.. I’d be having a serious round table talkies about how we were going to put Marty’s balls well and truly through the wringer.
February 17, 2010 at 1:34 AM
Zap, you might be in for a bit of a surprise on whose balls are going to be put through the ringer. You all want your day in court and i can guarantee your going to get it.
Wow, this is the most telling comment of all. If "Insider" is Mr Brickey, he clearly feels that he has been dealt with unjustly, and deserved better from his employees. Yes, the CEO is blaming the rest of the company for his failure to manage and deliver.