All information about the conflict of Limited Run Games and Thomas Happ Games with Badland Publishing

UPDATE 3 (3/22/2019, 2:40 PM): We added the DEV statement.

UPDATE 2 (03/20/2019, 11:30): We added Badland Publishing's answers to our questions.

UPDATE 1 (19/19/2019, 6:15): We added to the article fragments of the communique that Badland Publishing issued this afternoon. We are still waiting for the answers to our questions and we will update the article once we receive it.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE (3/18/2018, 17:40)

Dan Adelman and Tom Happ, producer and creator of Axiom Verge respectively, they sued to the Spanish distributor Badland Publishing for non-payment of $ 200,000.

This complaint, which took place last November 2018, was made public in accordance with the negative experience of Limited Run Games with Badland, including a debt of over $ 78,000.

LRG, a company specializing in the creation of physical editions of limited edition video games, releases a physical edition of Axiom Verge for Wii U. This issue had to take place by 2017, but this is delayed due to problems described. in an article by Games Industry. In the same text, Luis Quintans, who, in addition to the CEO of Badland Publishing, is also president of DEV (Spanish Association of Production Companies and Video Games and Entertainment Software Developers), also tells his version of what happened.

Due to the complexity of these two events, which last for about two years, we organized the information of both stories in chronological order and contacted the parties to explain certain aspects. By the time of publication, we received the answers from Dan Adelman, manufacturer of Axiom Verge, and Josh Fairhurst, CEO of Limited Run Games. We are still awaiting the comments of Badland Publishing; In an email we are promised that we will receive a reply within the next few hours. We will update this article as soon as we receive your email. Update 1 (3/19/2019, 6:15): Badland Publishing sent us a statement but didn't send the answer to our questions. Update 2 (03/20/2019, 11:30): We've received an answer to the questions we asked Badland and continued with that article.

Axiom Verge is a metro vehicle created by Tom Happ as a solo project, developed in parallel with his full time job at Petroglyph Games, a company run by former Westwood Studios (Command & amp; Conquer) was established. The manufacturer was Dan Adelman, who worked on Nintendo for nine years and was responsible for the indie games for DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U like Cave Story, Shovel Knight or World of Goo. After five years of development (four of them in Petroglyph and one full-time), the game was released in digital format on PS4 on March 31, 2015. During the following months, ports have been launched for various platforms: PC, Vita, Wii U, Xbox One and Switch.

The Spanish distributor enters the comparison in February 2017; At that time, the company was known as Badland Games. Dan Adelman I signed a contract With Badland Games for the creation of Axiom Verge: Multiverse Edition, a physical edition of the game for PS4, Vita and Wii U, which is an extras & # 39; art book, & # 39; n pster and & # 39; include a DVD making. The estimated departure date was "second quarter of 2017".

One of the main reasons why Adelman Badland chose among the various offers he received was that the Spanish dealer promised to donate 75% of his share to the fund that Happ collects money to fund the money. your child's medical expenses. Alastair Happ suffers from a neurological disorder known as neonatal bilirubic encephalopathy or nuclear cancer.

In March 2017, according to Fairhurst, Badland approached GI, Limited Run Games, and offered the opportunity to distribute the physical issue of Axiom Verge for Wii U in North American territory exclusively. In a post to Eurogamer Spain, Dan Adelman tells us that "[aunque] We never made it public, I am sure 99% that Badland never informed us that he had the rights of Wii U to LRG. There was a clause in our contract that said they should receive our approval before doing anything similar. "He made sure they didn't have a problem with LRG, as" they have a good reputation and we've known it for a long time "but" we were surprised they signed a deal with LRG without let us know. "

A few months later Badland Games Abri Badland Games Publishing, A new branch "born with the mission to bring the creativity and freshness of the new indie developments to a majority public." According to Luis Quintans at Games Industry, Badland's administrator recommended separating the company's publishing and distribution activities.

In July 2017, Limited Games Games asked Badland Games for 6,000 physical copies of Axiom Verge on Wii U. The aim was to launch this issue in North America in the fall of 2017. The company has raised $ 78,000 for the games and expects it to come before the end of November.

The month of September of the same year, two events of great importance to Badland take place. On the 18th, the board of the DEV President Luis Quintans appointed. The former president, Ignacio Prez Dolset, was forced to resigned two months before splashed by Operation Hanta, in which both he and his brother were involved in an investigation of the office of the corruption prosecutor Alleged fraudulent acquisition of subsidies.

In parallel, as described by Quintans a Games Industry, the company has started liquidity problems. Account that one of the financial entities with which Badland is working has sent a false notice of non-payment to the Bank of Spain. The Bank of Spain has advised all the banks, and they immediately canceled their credit accounts with Badland. Although the error is corrected, the Bank of Spain will only review these notices every two months, so Badland went without money for the Christmas season. Update 2 (03/20/2019, 11:30): Before concluding these two events, we asked Badland whether they were aware of the economic problems that Badland Games was at the moment to appoint Luis Quintans as president. We said "DEV is always up to date on the progress of the company by Luis Quintans" and added that "the DEV board of directors is an independent and public body, the economic problems of" Private entity such as Badland Games, not of public character, still, Badland Games as a private entity closed by bankruptcy proceedings, and in accordance with the law, appears in all relevant records as the BOE. "

During this time, Badland reduced its communication to a minimum and "tried to buy time," Adelman said. Finally, Adelman and Happ finance the American physical edition of Axiom Verge, which was launched in November 2017 on PS4, Switch and Vita, but not on Wii U. This change of distributor was so fast that, according to Adelman, they didn't even have time to change Badland's logo to Thomas Happ Games. Adelman declares to GI that Badland pledged to compensate the money spent on manufacturing, in addition to the percentage corresponding to the Alastair Happ fund.

In an email to Eurogamer Espaa, Adelman assured it was a "daunting" period. Both Happ and Adelman have made their life savings for the physical copies of the game. For two months all the money they had was out of the bank. The situation was resolved as soon as the stores made the first payment. Adelman tells us he does not know the process in detail and therefore he was not sure if an unexpected obstacle had appeared along the way. Finally everything went well. As he tells on his Twitter, this experience led him to create his own editor: Leadman Games.

Fairhurst tells us in an email that "what really bother me is that I have never been informed that Dan and Tom are paying for physical launch from their own pocket." These launches took place in November 2017. So there was a period of several months during which someone from Badland informed us of his financial situation. "

The month of November passed and Limited Run Games did not receive its 6,000 physical copies of Axiom Verge on Wii U. Badland delayed the delivery date of the copies until January 2018. With the new year a new problem has arisen: the game does not have the Nintendo certification. This issue was resolved when Happ & # 39; s sent a new game build. The same month Badland introduces Axiom Verge: Multiverse Edition in Europe although Wii stayed You again; that version will be released soon according to the press release. At present, the Multiverse Edition for Wii U appears on Amazon with a date that looks like a placeholder: December 31, 2019.

Quintans tells Games Industry that during the year 2018, once the credit line was recovered, the company committed itself to selling the entire stock of its stores to overcome financial problems that would end at the end of the year. Fairhurst tells us in an email that he did not know about Badland's problems until "February or March 2018" when she left Badland in the company. After resolving the certification problems with Nintendo, Badland did not respond to them in March 2018. Adelman assures GI that Badland did not speak to them when they claim the money that corresponds to both Tom Happ and his son Alastair's fund.

Quintans himself admits in his statement that they were not able to hold the talks due to the financial difficulties of the company: "Without apologizing and accepting a more fluid communication from Badland "Wounded, large-scale damage would have escaped the times of silence that made it impossible for us to do anything other than trying to save Badland games."

Limited Games Games launched in early April an offer to Badland Games: they could choose between returning the $ 78,000 that paid their physical expenses of Axiom Verge for PS4, Switch or Vita worth $ 78,000 worth of they could recover their investment. with Tom Happ for distribution. Fairhurst says this email is already appearing in copy to Brandon Huffman, his lawyer. They wanted an answer before May 21, but the deadline passed without response. LRG sent an ultimatum to Badland, who replied that they had accepted the second proposal and that they had called in on the Monday of the following week. Fairhurst states that he has received no calls.

In e-mail to Eurogamer Espaa, Fairhurst thinks that now that he knows the whole situation, it is "odd" for Badland to accept the option: "Tom and Dan produced the physical launches with their own money; [Quintans] I was unable to offer me $ 78,000 [en copias fsicas de Axiom Verge]"Adelman replied something similar:" Badland never told me that they would pay part of their stock of Axiom Verge to LRG as payment. To be honest, I don't know how it worked, as Badland didn't have the supplies Tom and I paid to produce. Maybe they were part of their European stock? "

In August, Fairhurst applied for payment from his lawyer while Adelman and Happ negotiated with Badland to collect their own debt. According to Adelman in an email, the idea of ​​Badland was an installment in installments where they started to return 5,000 euros a month, then 10,000 a month and finally 15,000 a month until the debt is over. Adelman did not have the idea that most of the money would be received at the end; He chose to receive more money at the beginning and also wanted to pay interest to reimburse the time and risk of his work in the launch of the North American physical expense. They suggested another payment plan and Badland said they would review it with their lawyers. "It was the last time they contacted me, it was August 7," he says.

In October 2018, Limited Run Games sued the Badland Games before the Wake County Court in North Carolina. According to Fairhurst in GI, Quintans replied two weeks later that they no longer had the distribution rights of Axiom Verge in North America, which was transferred to Happ and Adelman. "We've finished [los derechos de distribucin]"Adelman tells us." We have included a clause in the original contract that they said [finalizar el contrato] if they took a certain amount of time to start the game in stores. " Update 1 (3/19/2019, 6:15): Badland reiterated in his statement that he tried to solve the debt several times and declared "the only answer [de LRG fue] the filing of a lawsuit in the United States in which proceedings have not been conducted and there is no execution in Spain. " Update 2 (03/20/2019, 11:30): We asked Badland if they were going to appeal this verdict or if they would do any action on it. We said "Badland Publishing has no connection with the debt of another company."

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In fact, at this point, Badland Games SL no longer exists. Quintans told GI that due to financial difficulties, Badland Games closed exactly in October 2018. Some of the employees were transferred to Badland Publishing, the branch opened in June 2017, which continued the company's operations . Update 1 (3/19/2019, 6:15): In his statement, Badland Publishing further outlined this process: "There are insufficient assets to cover the credit against the insolvency estate (…) the company's registration form has been terminated, terminated and closed by the creditors of any possible benefit or revenue, derived from the sales or of the products played or generated by Badland Games. "The text also highlights the differences between the two brands:" Badland Publishing has an administrator and other shareholder than Badland Games, and Luis Quintans is just another employee in Badland Publishing. "

Quintans offered to repay the debts contracted with LRG, but the company rejected it and decided to proceed with the lawsuit. Fairhurst tells us in an email that it happened a few months after I offered my two payment options and just after I sent Badland to four different addresses, a formal request . "After a few months of Luis's silence [Quintans], he has no reason to trust that he will actually continue to pay. Continuing legal action was the only way to see my money again. "

In November last year, Dan Adelman and Tom Happ condemned Badland. The producer of Axiom Verge tells us: "At every step we found ourselves delays in their answers, so I was worried that they were trying to buy time." Shortly after the post on August 7, I contacted a lawyer to begin the process. litigation process We took a while to organize and lay everything, and finally we filed the court case on November 2, 2018. " Update 1 (3/19/2019, 6:15): Badland says at the beginning of his statement that "Badland Games, or Luis Quintans, has NEVER benefited from any kind of profit in terms of selling the Axiom Verge game."

Adelman told GI that they were suing Badland for $ 200,000, but they didn't know exactly how Badland should add the money from its share of the sale for the physical copies of the game and the one intended for the establishment of Alastair Happ. He says this amount is an estimate and that they have asked for Badland's files to be audited to find out if it's even older.

In his statement, Badland CEO says that "the only thing I asked these two companies was that the payment of the debt was made around a plan that we could see at that time and with the want to execute them as it was with the rest of the partners or companies with which a debt is contracted. "

While Adelman's demand still stands (the producer didn't want to declare anymore because it's an open process), the LRG was settled in favor of the plaintiff as standard of Badland on 4 December. Fairhurst says they have tried to contact Quintans several times to warn him about the process. Quintans, otherwise, declared to GI that he first received the first notice in October and that the verdict arrived two weeks ago. LRG is now studying how to apply the US ruling in Spanish territory.

Quintans says in his statement that he has every intention of paying the debts incurred under the Badland Games SL brand, which was paid as possible. According to GI, 90% of the debt they had had already been paid; the share of Happ, Adelman and LRG corresponds to the 10% missing. UPDATE 2 (03/20/2019, 11:30): We want to know what were the priorities for repayment of Badland Games SL's debt, so we asked Badland Publishing for the debt payment plans. They tell us that "Badland Games has made a personal payment plan for each debt, as suppliers and clients responded to the plan proposed by the company and concluded a viable payment agreement. He did not prioritize some payments over others, as he considered all of equal importance. "

When I asked him why all this information came to light, Fairhurst told me that "since Badland took my money, they launched various physical products in Spanish stores." The introduction of these products requires prepayment to Nintendo and Sony. With just the four Nintendo Switch releases I'm aware of, Badland would have had enough money to give me back my personal experience with them is nothing but good and I don't keep them in high esteem now . I wanted others to know my story to prevent them from ending up in a similar situation. "

Fairhurst and Limited Run Games recently tried to fulfill their promise to launch a physical issue of Axiom Verge on Wii U, though the console is. stopped production in the year 2016. LRG hopes "Wii U fans will appreciate the opportunity to have one of the best Indian physical games games for the platform." Fairhurst assures GI that they have invested more than $ 120,000 in the process and do not expect to recover a third of it. "Limited Run Games will buy Axiom Verge: Multiverse Edition for Wii U in their store on March 29 at 3pm (Central European Time). Update 1 (3/19/2019, 6:15): The statement by Badland Publishing states that "it is suspected that it is all part of a campaign of defamation, promoting third parties to the detriment of our interests, something that remains evidence if we release the nearby suspect." of the title. "

Meanwhile, we are still waiting in Spain for an official statement from the DEV on this information that binds his president. On its Twitter account, DEV assured on Saturday 16 "they are evaluating all available information in constant contact with the president." A few hours later they indicated that the board was invested "after analyzing the GDC (which is taking place in San Francisco from March 18-22)" to analyze the latest events and make the necessary decisions. At Eurogamer we follow the development of this issue carefully and you will be notified immediately in the case of new developments.

Update 3 (3/22/2019, 2:40 PM): & # 39; N Week after the story of the Badland Publishing conflict with Limited Run Games and Thomas Happ Games was played, DEV issued a statement declaring confidence in President Luis Quintans: "The board of the DEV unanimously showed you support, trust and thanks to President Luis Quintans for his work and commitment as head of the association in the last 2 years, which allowed her growth and achievement. .

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