Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I hope like Hell this isn't true...


[I will not turn this art into a metaphor for current events at CGL.]
[But brother, is it ever tempting.]

...but if it is, Bill Burt and I saw it coming a long time ago. Back in 2007, in fact.

Writing freehand today. I am not going to post the entire piece from DumpShock. Just go here:

http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=30231

and read it for yourself.

Stansel-Garner is the former Operations Manager at InMediaRes, IIRC.

The bookkeeper/office manager is bailing due to ethics issues - on the part of others, I believe.

The head layout man for ShadowRun and BT is gone, baby, gone.

For additional reading pleasure, read the company's own statement:

http://catalystgamelabs.com/2010/03/17/catalyst-game-labs-press-release/

Personally? I think it is interesting how they spin the events. Imagine if I'd had someone phrase my habit of shoplifting in my youth as a 'shortcoming of the shop owner's security procedure' and described my making off with stolen food and electronic parts as 'business assets regretably co-mingled with the personal belongings of one of the customers'. Gosh, I don't think I would have had to pay that fine to the Lake Forest Park judge. I might even have continued my thieving ways.

"The owner in question now owes the company a significant balance and is working to help rectify the situation." Let's see how that hound scrambles to redress nearly a million dollars in 'missing' funds.

Does anyone see the connection between the ego, arrogance and presumption of little folks who are corrupted by power - even the minor power over a gaming company - and that of people like Bernie Madoff? CS Lewis was right.

Also note the departures of key personnel - not mere drones as the phrase 'employees' would have you believe - and the implied haste with which they departed (to make sure they got clear of the implosion zone and subsequent fallout). So CGL's press release would have you thinking that it was a few faceless flunkies who left because they couldn't live with the revelation?

No, folks. No. When the main layout guru, the company bookkeeper and the capital behind it all head for the hills, something is seriously kaput.

[Either that or they are secretly forming the core of another company which will secure the license rights... isn't speculation fun?]

However, let me assure you that no matter what CGL does or does not do in the coming months , it will not affect my own work. I will continue to follow my publishing schedule, although the bill from David makes me cringe. Are you reading this, David?

I'm about to turn 50 and I'm cringing.

AT AN ART BILL.

DAMMIT!

So this will bring the art total up to a nice round $2300-ish. It makes me feel bad because a piddling bill like this is something my peers would shrug and pay - they put more in their fishing boat last weekend. I am not as successful at 50 as perhaps I should be.

Be a while before I can finish paying that off. Maybe I can pay it down before the company and product vanish.

Maybe.

I guess I better hurry. At the rate they are collapsing, there will be an event horizon where their offices once were - before June. We'll be lucky if they don't suck WOTC in after them.

David's art IS good work, though, so hey.

Steve

11 comments:

Malcadon said...

You got to love that corporate fast-talk. They can make the most nasty and brutal rape, and spin it into kinky fore-play between a man of a "unique sexual kink," and his half-living, underage meat-puppet.

"Blessed be their guided tongues, and pray they don't choke on their own verbal feculence!" ;)

Well, godspeed to your efforts, man!

Knightmare said...

What bothers me the most about this fall out is the loss of CGL's chief layout man. I mean one of the key components to BT's renewed success over the last few years has been the incredible quality of product that's being produced. A central role in the overall look and feel of a new book rests on the shoulders of the layout man, so seeing him go is sad news indeed. Otherwise, this is another cautionary tale about absolute power and wealth going to one's head...

skiltao said...

"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

There's also the season to consider.

Steven Satak said...

I would go with that wise saying but it would appear many others have been, too, to their detriment and the detriment of the hobby.

After all, how did this get past the (now-absent) bookkeeper? It isn't a few thousand, it's not even a few hundred thousand, it's nearly a million dollars gone missing.

And in the end, does it really matter if certain parties stole with malice aforethought (nearly a requirement to keep it hidden for so long) or just assumed they could spend company money on whatever they wanted, whenever it pleased them. Would it have made a difference if the guilty party had left an IOU?

No. Not really. In the end, the operating capital is gone and unless they secure some serious funds really quick, they are not going to last the summer. At least, not as the purveyor of all things BattleTech.

Hell, I embezzled once in my youth. When I think of it, I feel my face and ears get hot and the shame is as fresh as the day I was discovered. I still look for forgiveness from my old employer, even though that good man has been in his grave for nearly twenty years.

So I know what it must be like. Only, I got a chance to pay my debt back before getting canned. This amount of money will be a little harder to produce.

Meanwhile, can you blame folks for getting clear before they are caught in a lawsuit or a trial?

skiltao said...

I find it *very* easy to believe that the "company money" was originally fronted by a guy, from that guy's personal bank account, and that nobody had ever bothered to create a new, COMPANY bank account. Suppose messy/lazy accounting practices had been used until a dedicated bookkeeper was hired; might it take *until* now to sort it all out?

I can't blame folks for getting clear, but it seems downright silly to take Dumpshock at face value.

Shepard Gunn said...

I wish I had an "accidental co-mingling of funds" of where I work... well, and accidental co-mingling that doesn't land my tookie-tookie in the slammer.

Steven Satak said...

Yes, well, if I just kept tapping an account I knew was the repository for the company's funds, I would keep better track of it. Better than it appears some folks did.

But really, you'd have to turn a seriously blind eye to your financial condition to withdraw 850k, even over three years.

And no, DumpShock is not the last word. But it was pretty much the first word, and if it had not appeared, I somehow doubt we would have gotten the late-night 'damage control' statement from CGL.

Just sayin'.

Doug said...

Oh, I think CGL will be fine. And $2,300 is a lot of money to me as well.

Electromage said...

This sounds slightly similar to what happened to Palladium Books, but they survived, sure they lost the Robotech series, but they have since gotten it back.

Personally, I hope CGL survives and keeps BattleTech as I've only just recently gotten back into the series after several years 'Rifting' my way around the megaverse! :P

PS: been reading this blog for some time now, I really like the idea (and pics I’ve seen so far) of this Fan TRO and can’t wait to see the finished product!!

Paint it Pink said...

Only time will tell how this will all play out. I watch and wait to see what happens.

Shepard Gunn said...

No matter what, though, I am sure that Battletech will survive. If not as it is now, in some form. The fans will keep it alive.