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> CGL Speculation #8, Put on your asbestos underwear
Cain
post May 27 2010, 03:43 AM
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OK, so the last thread got closed, but there's still more going on. Word is that the most recent documents were going to court on May 27. Does anyonehave any information on this?
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RunnerPaul
post May 27 2010, 04:21 AM
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And since it's customary to include backlinks in the first few posts, here are the threads that have come before:

CGL Speculation #1 <-- locked for being lengthy and unwieldy.
CGL Speculation #2 <-- locked to avoid database bloat
CGL Speculation #3 <-- locked for bloat
CGL Speculation #4 <-- locked for more threads about each other than the topic
CGL Speculation #5 <-- locked because of cyberpenis
CGL Speculation #6 <-- locked for 600 posts
CGL Speculation #7 <-- locked for being derailed by posts with no real information (in a "speculation" thread, mind you)

See also the Terms of Service.
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Cardul
post May 27 2010, 05:37 AM
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QUOTE (Cain @ May 26 2010, 10:43 PM) *
OK, so the last thread got closed, but there's still more going on. Word is that the most recent documents were going to court on May 27. Does anyonehave any information on this?



Well, I do not expect to see anything at 12:35(US Civilized..er..Central Time) in the morning on the 27th.
I expect it will not be until much later, like in the afternoon US Primitive..er..Pacific Time(since they are in
Washington State).
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knasser
post May 27 2010, 07:31 AM
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QUOTE (RunnerPaul @ May 27 2010, 05:21 AM) *
See also the Terms of Service.


LOL! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

Although the last thread had hit 33 pages on standard number of posts per page. It's probably about time we had a new thread just for the sake of organizing all this. I must say it was nice to see the lawyers churning out so many words. I always had a cynical view that lawyers are so verbose because they get paid by the hour. But it seems it's just a natural character trait. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

So anyway, CGL speculation... I would imagine whoever is the new (or same) licencee, they would want to make a preliminary announcement as soon as everything is safely confirmed. This uncertainty is probably not doing anyone any good and the moment we know with a bit more certainty what is going on, we can start, well, I don't know. Speculating on more specific and interesting things. Unless CGL keep hold of the licence in which case we probably get no more certainty than we have right now what with the bankruptcy charges.

K.
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Cthulhudreams
post May 27 2010, 07:52 AM
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If I was the new licensee, I wouldn't immediately annouce until I'd locked in some other key things - my finacing, my core creative team, decided on a product release schedule (I'll need to issue new core books as they make the most money) etc. Then I'd annouce. I'd try to do that fast, but I want to go to market with something comprehensive - saying 'hurray new license' isn't going to set the direction you want.

I'd to hit the market with an comprehensive message so I could try and push the other stuff into the background asap.

If I was IMR, I'd annouce the very second I had the new license.
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LurkerOutThere
post May 27 2010, 07:52 AM
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Personally Knasser I think we're all kidding ourselves on the import of the site, the powers that be will make an announcement (one way or another) when they are good and ready but if I had to venture a guess I'd think the actual announcements will wait until origins or gencon if things are going to change hands.
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Grexul
post May 27 2010, 02:27 PM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ May 27 2010, 12:52 AM) *
If I was the new licensee, I wouldn't immediately announce until I'd locked in some other key things - my financing, my core creative team, decided on a product release schedule (I'll need to issue new core books as they make the most money) etc. Then I'd announce. I'd try to do that fast, but I want to go to market with something comprehensive - saying 'hurray new license' isn't going to set the direction you want.

I'd to hit the market with an comprehensive message so I could try and push the other stuff into the background asap.

If I was IMR, I'd announce the very second I had the new license.

I think a new licensee would have most of that done before trying to acquire the license, they would need to show Topps they were ready to make money. I also would think that they would made some kind of pitch as to the direction they would take the game, like maybe decorpifying the tribes or bringing in an alien incursion ala 'V'.
Hey I didn't say they'd be good ideas. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Endroren
post May 27 2010, 03:09 PM
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I'll speculate on this one. Sounds fun. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

I'd bet a new license holder would, on the day that the last bit of paperwork is signed (but not a second before), make a great big announcement. Origins is right around the corner and GenCon is only a few months off. They want to get people excited about their product AND draw attention away from "That which came before", especially all the bitter feelings that are floating around right now. I think they'd also want to deal with any potential negative reaction well in advance of their "coming out" at the cons. Get it out there, address it, and go into the cons with excitement at its height. Not to mention the process of spinning up as many demo games as possible.

This assumes a lot about a potential new license holder's intentions and plans (as well as whether the license thing is even in question, which I'm not convinced of) BUT that would be my speculation on how it would go down.
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knasser
post May 27 2010, 03:17 PM
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QUOTE (Endroren @ May 27 2010, 04:09 PM) *
I'll speculate on this one. Sounds fun. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

I'd bet a new license holder would, on the day that the last bit of paperwork is signed (but not a second before), make a great big announcement. Origins is right around the corner and GenCon is only a few months off. They want to get people excited about their product AND draw attention away from "That which came before", especially all the bitter feelings that are floating around right now. I think they'd also want to deal with any potential negative reaction well in advance of their "coming out" at the cons. Get it out there, address it, and go into the cons with excitement at its height. Not to mention the process of spinning up as many demo games as possible.

This assumes a lot about a potential new license holder's intentions and plans (as well as whether the license thing is even a question) BUT that would be my speculation on how it would go down.


I doubt that a new licensee would have anything at the demo stage for this Summer. Unless they're *really* confident of getting the licence and have been secretly working on their product all this time. But who knows.

K.
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Endroren
post May 27 2010, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE (knasser @ May 27 2010, 10:17 AM) *
I doubt that a new licensee would have anything at the demo stage for this Summer. Unless they're *really* confident of getting the licence and have been secretly working on their product all this time. But who knows.

K.


No, but they'd probably be running SR4E games so they could press the flesh and drum up support. That's what _I_ would do anyhow - but then again I'm a big proponent of networking and word of mouth support.
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ravensmuse
post May 27 2010, 04:17 PM
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Let's make this easier for people that are just starting to catch up to this thread. Can someone give a quick but decent summary of all actions up until now? From the original Frank posting through the PR game to people leaving to books being cooked and who's what and what's going on, up to now, with the court cases? Because at one point, this thing became a wheel snake and I got lost. Specifically, who the heck is Sugarman that everyone keeps talking about?

Thanks.
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Ancient History
post May 27 2010, 04:20 PM
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Dramatis Personae
(From Who's Who on Dumpshock)
[ Spoiler ]


Note: The Loren Coleman associated with IMR is Loren L. Coleman, not Loren C. Coleman, the noted cryptozoologist.

Timeline
3 January - WildFire LLC, makers of CthulhuTech terminate business relationships with Catalyst Games Lab, due to non-payment of royalties and breach of contract.

? March - Dave Stansel-Garner had resigned about a week before Jennifer Harding did, for his own independent reasons.

15 March - Jennifer "Tiger Eyes" Harding resigns from CGL due to a personal ethics conflict, to whit: Loren Coleman asked her to falsify royalty reports to Topps; Randall Bills allegedly supported this decision.

16 March - Frank Trollman makes his original post, accusing Loren Coleman of stealing money from InMediaRes Productions LLC, of which Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint. Adam Jury resigns.

17 March - IMR puts out a press release talking about the financial mismanagement of the company.

? March - Several Shadowrun freelancers withdrew copyright on their works until paid, exact dates not given. This is not the first time CGL freelancers had withdrawn copyright until payment was made.

19 March - ICV2 announces that some Shadowrun and CthulhuTech book sales are frozen.

20 March - Jason Hardy posts a correction to ICV2's original post, which ICV2 incorporates on 22 March.

22 March - Bobby "Ancient History" Derie gets banned from the CGL freelancer forums and terminates his contracts, which sets back the development of several Shadowrun books. (More detail here). The sections of the books he worked on in development were assigned to other freelancers. Stephen McQuillian posts that several freelancers are not currently under Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA).

27 March - Frank Trollman leaks Randal Bill's letter to the freelancers.

31 March - Dawn of the Artifacts: Midnight ships, despite the author (Jen Harding) having withdrawn copyright. Jason Hardy says this is an error that will be fixed.

1 April - Jason Hardy confirms that shipments of DotA: Midnight have ceased.

3 April - Jennifer Harding weighs in on DotA: Midnight and the situation at Catalyst. Jason Hardy responds. Peter "Synner" Taylor weighs in.

4 April - Jason Hardy issues an update, explaining that CGL is cutting checks for freelancers.

5 April - CGL transfers ownership of remaining CthulhuTech and Poo inventories to WildFire LLC.

6 April - Adam Jury confirms Posthuman Studios is in the process of severing their relationship with IMR as well. Jason Hardy confirms freelancer payments are being received.

8 April - Phil "Ketjak" DeLuca, one of IMR\'s owners, says some of Jennifer Harding's statements are confirmed in IMR's corporate documents, and then weighs in on the state of IMR - and clarifies a little.

12 April - Troy Garner is reportedly terminated from employ at CGL; his position is now taken by Tara Bills (wife of Randall Bills).

13 April - Adam Jury confirms Troy took his personal computer, which is also the shipping computer, with him when he left.

14 April - Phil DeLuca expands on his previous post. The graphs he talks about showing the Coleman\'s draws are posted by Droogydroog.

15 April - Stephen McQuillian reveals he is no longer working for CGL.

19 April - Three of IMR\'s creditors - Wildfire LLC (creators of CthulhuTech), J.P. Sugarbroad, and Paul Stansel file for a Ch.7 Bankruptcy against IMR.

? April - A humorous webcomic is posted.

21 April - IMR releases a statement concerning its financial situation.

4 May - Catalyst announces that Shadowrun books are no longer frozen.

12 May - A long-in-development deal with Lone Wolf Development is finally completed, sub-licensing Shadowrun for use with Hero Lab.

17 May - IMR answers the creditor's summons.

18 May - The creditors file two motions, one for immediate relief and another to shorten time.

19 May - Motion to shorten time is approved.

21 May - Hearing is held. The creditor\'s motion for immediate relief is denied. A pre-trial hearing is set for 18 June. IMR issues a statement.

Summary of Major Issues
  • The license Topps has granted to InMediaRes Productions LLC runs out at the end of May, and is in negotiations for renewal.
  • For a period of several years, freelancers have not been paid on time for their work by IMR; the company has over the last several weeks issued a number of checks to the freelancers to address this situation.
  • FrankTrollman accused Loren L. Coleman of having stolen a large sum of money (he alleges about $850,000; the exact amount is unknown) from InMediaRes Productions LLC. These claims have been buoyed by graphs showing the draws the Colemans have made over the last several years. IMR released a press statement in response admitting financial mismanagement, and aims to address the situation. Loren L. Coleman remains in charge, but there have apparently been some change in financial management at the company.
  • Several employees - David Stansel-Garner, Adam Jury, Jennifer Harding, and Stephen McQuillian - have willingly left employ at IMR for various reasons in a relatively short period of time. Troy Garner was terminated from his employment.
  • WildFire LLC and Posthuman Studios, maker of CthulhuTech and Eclipse Phase respectively, have ended their business relationships with IMR.
  • Several Shadowrun freelancers, including Bobby Derie and Jennifer Harding, have ceased their relationship with IMR or left the freelancer pool.
  • FrankTrollman released a letter that had been sent to the freelancers by Randall Bills, explaining his reasons for supporting Loren L. Coleman. The \"leak\" of this letter and other documents, including drafts of chapters from other sourcebooks would have been covered by non-disclosure agreements, but many of the freelancers were not covered by NDAs. FrankTrollman has not revealed his sources. Jason Hardy responded to these leaks by enacting stricter security controls on the freelancer forums, and eventually abandoning the forums entirely.
  • There have been substantial delays in the Shadowrun development process; most of the books recently released and currently under development were begun under previous line developers.
  • CGL has been releasing a greater number of ebooks/.PDFs for BattleTech and Shadowrun over the last few weeks; there have been no new announcements of books sent to the printers.
  • Three of IMR's creditors have begun a process to attempt and force the company into bankruptcy, in order to reclaim the monies they are owed. IMR is disputing the claims. The initial motion for immediate relief was denied, and the case will now move onto an evidentiary hearing.


I believe that takes care of the bulk of things. I didn't cover some little things, like Frank sending e-mails to Topps' legal counsel or statements that Topps and IMR are each doing audits. I don't think the Colemans' house is terribly important from a business standpoint, so I didn't include most of the links to that either. Anyone that thinks this should be amended or expanded, or is inaccurate, give a holler.
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Grinder
post May 27 2010, 04:33 PM
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Try to keep the summary objective, please.
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ravensmuse
post May 27 2010, 04:37 PM
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If anyone could do it, I'd put my money on AH, honestly.
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LurkerOutThere
post May 27 2010, 04:57 PM
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I wouldn't, frankly I can also site posts to back up this belief Before all this? Yea sure, now not as much. I presume Grinder is feeling the same although that may be incorrect.

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JM Hardy
post May 27 2010, 05:02 PM
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While I can cite many disagreements I've had with AH, I can also cite posts where he has attempted to analyze information regarding the current situation in as neutral a way as possible (with the assumption that very few of us, including me, can ever be entirely neutral).

Jason H.
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Endroren
post May 27 2010, 05:16 PM
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I speculated about "a new licensee" but out of fairness, and while we are waiting for AH's summary, I thought it would be worth speculating what CGL/IMR would do if the license decision comes down in THEIR favor...

The SECOND that Topps says "you can keep the license" - maybe before the ink is even dry - I'd expect a veritable parade from CGL. It would be a way to say "We admitted a long time ago that mistakes were made, but as we said all along we were working to resolve the situation and get our house in order. And what is more, not only have we done that but Topps agrees." At that stage, although there would certainly be detractors still, they could move on with the business of making a great Roleplaying Game and stop running defense against a constant barrage of negative attacks.

So there you go - the other side of my best speculation about the future.
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Tiger Eyes
post May 27 2010, 07:08 PM
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QUOTE
I doubt that a new licensee would have anything at the demo stage for this Summer.


I would speculate that 4 months without a print release, and no word yet on when anything might be getting released in print, isn't going to help... especially when I know that when I stopped writing for CGL, there were 5 items ready to print - DotA 3, Runners Toolkit, 6WA, Corp Guide, and Spells and Chrome. (Admittedly, when Jason yanked AH out of the freelancer pool, Jason had to rewrite portions of three of those.) I'm not counting the LE, which should have been ready months ago, as a print release (as it is simply the limited version of SR4A which had already been released), nor the Runner's Companion second printing. With one month left until Origins, and 9 weeks until GenCon... it looks like it will be a pretty sad summer season for CGL (I am not speculating on if they retain the SR license or not, mind you). I had been told that they wanted DotA3 for GenCon, but since it looks like CGL is now pushing the author of DotA3 around and has removed him from the freelancer pool as well, that might not happen either...
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Dr.Rockso
post May 27 2010, 07:19 PM
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Thank you for sharing. After 3+ pages of "Legalese Wars 3: Return of the Semantics" I was afraid we all lost sight of what decent speculation really is.
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augmentin
post May 27 2010, 08:43 PM
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Whatever happened to the vast freelancer conspiracy? Or speculation about who else might be bidding on the license?
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Catadmin
post May 27 2010, 08:52 PM
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QUOTE (augmentin @ May 27 2010, 04:43 PM) *
Whatever happened to the vast freelancer conspiracy?


With everything that's been said in these threads, I'm not sure which tangent you're referring to with that statement. Hesitant as a I am to ask, could you expound on this one?
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Ancient History
post May 27 2010, 09:39 PM
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Okay, amended that post above with a rough timeline and cover of all the pertinent issues.
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BishopMcQ
post May 27 2010, 09:50 PM
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Bobby is amending his post above, but to be clear I have not been removed from the freelancer pool for Shadowrun. CGL is investigating options for other eBook developers in order to continue eBook development while we are in contract negotiations. They changed the terms of the contract, I disapproved of some of the changes, and they are now being reviewed by their legal team.

It should also be made clear that the "? March" was not the first time writers withheld their copyright in order to be paid.

I now return to my self-enforced silence on these matters.
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LurkerOutThere
post May 27 2010, 09:51 PM
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You left out that SR4LE's did see the street. It's minor true but if your going to cite it as a reason for concern you need to close the loop so to speak.. Other then that consider my previous concerns retracted/satisfied.
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Ancient History
post May 27 2010, 09:53 PM
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I only mentioned it because of the webcomic, honestly.
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