Blackmail, threatening emails and broken legal contracts: sounds like a setup for the next Wall Street film, right? Well it’s the basis of a story between an indie bundle company and a game developer. Indie Face Kick, a new indie bundle company, accuses developer Biart of civil disconcert, blackmail and wrongful business practices. In his post, Nathaniel Richardson, aka Gamer X, states that Biart, developer of Depth Hunter, proceeded to break the original contract allegedly by allowing their game to be included in another indie bundle, Build a Bundle 2, within a two month exclusivity period requiring developers to not include their game in any other bundle. The question that wraps everything up is why the situation unraveled to become a slanderous fight of words through a very public blog post.
Earlier this year, Nathaniel Richardson representing Indie Face Kick & Konstantin Popov representing Biart, signed a contract for the second Indie Face Kick bundle to feature Depth Hunter as an additional game if gamers spent more than what the average customer did. In the terms and conditions part of the contract, that Biart broke according to Richardson, Popov agreed the game was not to be released within two months of the conclusion of the sale. From the documents that we’ve received, Indie Face Kick 2 did not release in the agreed upon time of late April to mid May 2012 that was set in the original contract but instead it came out in July 13, 2012 which actually conflicts with what Biart signed the contract for.
During an internal exchange of messages at Biart for reporting purposes, we asked a representative of the company “why did you sign up with Build a Bundle in August even though that would have breached the contract clause regarding exclusivity?” A shortened reply answers that the contract was not breached as the signed date of the contract gave Richardson of Indie Face Kick exclusivity for the product for a two-month period. Above each respective signature, their names are listed next to dates in which each party signed in agreement on April 9th for Richardson & the 10th for Popov, giving Indie Face Kick exclusivity of sales for the game until June 10th. As is reported on Wikia’s “Indie Game Bundle Wiki”, Build a Bundle 2 released on July 17th, giving more than a month of time for IFK’s second bundle.
Part of the reason of why we were given this information is because despite there being plenty of sales, Biart has not received any payments regarding the Indie Face Kick bundle involving Depth Hunter. At the end of August, Richardson emailed Popov saying that the final numbers for everyone was being figured out. During the month of September, Nathaniel pushed developers off his back as he needed another “3-4 weeks”. On October 10th, Richardson claimed that his personal life was falling apart and to “please have a bit of pity”. The next day, he asked for another three weeks plus offered interest for delaying money that was rightfully the developers.
On the very next email, they claimed what the amount due was $2500 and said that the payment will be received “by November 2nd 2012.” Everyday, there was a new excuse or way of waning the inevitable payment of Richardson’s debt. By the 1st of November, Nathaniel claimed that everything was finished processing for the transfer of money owed but of course there were situations with the bank & his PayPal account leading to a bigger hole. On November 15th, Richardson said this: “Yes I have problems doing this now. I owe web devs $10,000 more than I owe you and don't get this much grief for them.” A representative of Biart tried to compromise allowing a $300 deposit in good faith that he would pay the rest of the $2200.
A week passes and Nathaniel says that he made the payment on the 20th. Between Richardson and another Biart rep on Skype, the two talked with Richardson claiming that he sent payment through PayPal for a $700 check. Later, a PayPal message comes to the developer saying that the check was declined. Today, it’s the 29th of November & no payments have ever been successfully transferred between Richardson’s Indie Face Kick & Popov’s Biart. As Biart has been creating games for more than five years now, they call this situation, that they’ve never had to deal with previously, "bullshit".
To make things more interesting, I contacted multiple developers that have been involved with Indie Face Kick & they have yet to receive any kind of payments as most of them are patiently waiting for Nathaniel Richardson to finish his part of the deal. Dreamsoft Games, Sigma Team & Milk and Honey have not been compensated and are all dealing with similar but different situations. As musician Milk and Honey, or as he was credited Gary R in IFK #2, tries to find some kind of solution to the problem, Sigma Team & Dreamsoft have kept quiet about the situation as Nathaniel claims that he is “having an issue with one of the developers being rude” as said by Natalia Morozova of Sigma Team.
I have gotten into contact with more developers but I haven’t received responses back from ones I have not mentioned. This situation seems to be getting dirtier and dirtier as two days ago GamerX, also known as Nathaniel Richardson, posted an update to the current situation with Indie Face Kick and what he expects to happen. This previously mentioned post hosts counter-arguments for what information was offered to us by Biart privately.
After reading all of this, I hope you see the fraud that has been revealed and that developers need to raise awareness for new indie bundle organizations that pop up to avoid confrontations similar to this. If you or someone you know has been involved with GamingAllTheTime.com or Indie Face Kick, forward us information using the email you see below and we will try to arrange information to be passed along to you for record or legal purposes.
Disclaimer: Nathaniel Richardson was a former employee of Original-Gamer.com from April 2010 to June 2010.