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Post by trog @ 01:43pm 18/02/10 | 20 Comments
An anonymous user lets us know that Tsumea has been covering the developing story of Perth-based game studio Interzone Games, which was recently shut down by its parent company, based on the US.

It's turning into quite the psychodrama, with staff owed heaps of backpay and over $1 million in debt to the ATO. One of the Interzone executives recently flew into Australia, and was caught by staff (on video!) entering the office late at night, allegedly for the purpose of copying all the intellectual property of the studio (Interzone Futebal, a game still in development) with the (alleged) intent of taking it back to the USA to continue working on it - just days before the ATO closed in to liquidate their assets.

Definitely worth a read, and sad to hear about another Aussie game studio in trouble. The official site now redirects to this blog which has more information and a bit more of a timeline of events.



interzone games





Latest Comments
Methz
Posted 01:58pm 18/2/10
Haha, I read about this a few days ago on gamasutra, what a s***fight.
Plastic
Posted 02:01pm 18/2/10
The police punished the employees, Law enforcement in this country is a joke. Get bashed in the city cops don't do anything, go 5 K/M over the speed limit they are on you.
trog
Posted 02:07pm 18/2/10
The police punished the employees, Law enforcement in this country is a joke. Get bashed in the city cops don't do anything, go 5 K/M over the speed limit they are on you.
What exactly did they do? I can't see any reference to the police doing anything to the employees
pixem
Posted 02:32pm 18/2/10
well it would seem they didn't really bother checking who this Mike Turner guy was and were willing to accept the note he posted on the door. Pretty sneaky move, this guy seems to have had it planned.

http://www.perthtechalite.com.au/the-interzone-games-fiasco-season-1-episode-2-if-you-want-to-steal-some-stuff-just-call-the-cops-first-and-make-up-some-bull/

from what else I can gather, it also means that any personal possessions the employees were unable to recover.
thermite
Posted 02:32pm 18/2/10
The police do seem to be doing the wrong thing in that video.
tequila
Posted 02:51pm 18/2/10
as if you wouldn't have let his tyres down or something while he was inside
Eorl
Posted 02:51pm 18/2/10
Ohhh, another game company I could be working in the future :( Looks like I'm going overseas for a programming job...
Plastic
Posted 02:55pm 18/2/10
Trog, The police told the employees to piss off even though the manager was stealing from the company.
Viper
Posted 06:10pm 18/2/10
It is very sad to know that this kind of thing goes on and the legal system does nothing to stop it even when they are a million dollars behind on their tax and stealing work that hasn't been paid for to decrease the value of the company in question.

I feel sorry for the employees which face being put in a very bad situation financially because they have been working for the past however many months/years unpaid. I really hope it all gets sorted out.
Plasma
Posted 06:27pm 18/2/10
Should report them quickly for tax evasion before they leave...
trog
Posted 06:30pm 18/2/10
Trog, The police told the employees to piss off even though the manager was stealing from the company.
Well as I understand it from what I read, he was an executive of the company. He'd posted a notice saying no employees were allowed in (legality of that might be questionable). As an executive of the company I would assume he has the right to go in there and take stuff. I don't think he's stealing from the company in that sense of the word.

What he MAY have done though that I would guess is illegal is violate an ATO order to not take any assets from the company, because those assets would have to be used to pay back taxes/creditors/whatever. It seemed pretty clear from the video that he was doing something shady.
Mantorok
Posted 06:36pm 18/2/10
I think it's better that the police let it happen, means more trouble for him from the ATO. Imagine if they'd let the employees in, it'd problem end with the employees copping assault charges.
gamer
Posted 06:39pm 18/2/10
Oh well f*** you very much trog for ruining the awsome 'f*** the police' bandwagon we had building :-)
`ViPER`
Posted 07:09pm 18/2/10
If the cops had any brains they would have told everyone to leave including the director and tell the him to leave whatever he was going to take. Surely it looks pretty suss that he is there in late at night and that its probably best to find out in the morning if he has the authority to take what he was taking.

Dazhel
Posted 08:19pm 18/2/10
What he MAY have done though that I would guess is illegal is violate an ATO order to not take any assets from the company, because those assets would have to be used to pay back taxes/creditors/whatever.


If he was simply copying data off the server those assets can still be sold and any data copied can't be used (legally) by the parent company anyway. It doesn't seem like this company cares what they can legally do though, so whatever. It's more interesting to know whether he altered or deleted any data while there.

It seemed pretty clear from the video that he was doing something shady.


Quite likely, but that will require a court to decide.

Should report them quickly for tax evasion before they leave...


If the ATO is about to seize their assets then I'd say that ship has already sailed.
Kamu
Posted 10:53pm 19/2/10
Seeing as the company owes Australia (the ATO) money. I think it would be fair for some pissed off employee to release some source code. =) If they main company is going to get away with tax evasion then I think the IP should be made worthless (via the source release).
HurricaneJim
Posted 02:20am 20/2/10
Which idiot works for no pay?
stinky
Posted 02:28am 20/2/10
I wouldn't work in the games industry for all the tea in china!
Fish
Posted 06:45pm 20/2/10
^^ actually, they only promise you all the tea in china... delivering is another thing.
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