Negligent Publisher Rips Off Axiom Verge Devs & Distributor, Impedes Dev Son's Well Being



being an independent developer can be a really tough position there is more to making a game than just getting your creative juices flowing there's all marketing distribution and business side of things that you have to manage and execute this is why oftentimes nd developers will seek out interested publishers so they can focus on the creative aspects of the game development process while getting the logistical and financial support they need to get their game out there some indie developers strike the jackpot and manage to partner with a good publisher that respects the creative integrity of a project while adhering to the terms of a mutually beneficial partnership others aren't so lucky and they end up getting screwed over in some way shape or form and one such developer who's found himself in this unfortunate situation is none other than Tom Happ for those who don't know he's the creator and developer of axiom verge which many of you have probably at least heard about it's a homage to old-school Metroidvania style games one that's garnered a lot of positive reception and praise over the years the game launched almost four years ago on March 31st 2015 for PlayStation 4 and PC and it has since launched on other platforms like Wii U Xbox one and most recently Nintendo switch initially the game was only released digitally but on February 2017 to the pleasant surprise of fans it was announced that Tom would be working with Spain based publisher badland Games to ship physical copies of axiom verge for ps4 PS Vita Wii U and Nintendo switch a package called axiom verge multiverse edition on top of the game itself the $30 package would also include additional goodies such as a double-sided poster featuring the game's map an art booklet and a CD containing a making-of documentary unfortunately that venture hit a few snags that resulted in a number of unexpected delays the multiverse Edition was supposed to release sometime in August 2017 but that window was then pushed back to October before finally releasing for ps4 PS Vita and switch on November 21st 2017 in North America and January 29th 2018 in Europe one release that was absent how was a Wii U version and for a while nobody knew what was going on but fast forward to March 15th 2019 and we have finally learned what happened the following information was relayed by a number of sources starting with a tweet by limited run games the distributor of axiom verge for Wii U the good news is that they announced that retail copies will finally be sold on March 29th 2019 on limited runs official website but the bad news is that getting to this point involved several years of struggle and an ongoing legal battle over a huge amount of lost money at the hands of publisher bad land games now known as bad land publishing in a follow-up tweet limited-run noted that while they won't come anywhere close to breaking even on this project after the money that bad land took from them they're happy Wii U fans will finally get to appreciate the game in physical form exact details on what went on behind the scenes can be found in this article by news outlet games industry dot biz which contacted limited-run CEO josh Fairhurst for elaboration it all started with an offer that bad land made a limited run on March 2017 the month after axiom verge a multiverse edition was announced three months later on July 2017 the two companies signed a contract stipulating that limited run would be the exclusive distributor of axiom verge multiverse Edition for Wii U that $78,000 would be paid out to bad land for the delivery of 6000 fully assembled copies and that the copies would be delivered to limited run one week before the intended November 2017 release date at the latest however November 2017 came and went and nothing had been delivered with bad land delaying the Wii U release to January 2018 further delays occurred when the game kept failing to pass a Nintendo of America's lot check which games industry's article described as verification that the game meets Nintendo standards and in this case it apparently had something to do with the game's age rating an issue that was resolved by the end of January but even after all that bad land did not deliver the agreed-upon 6,000 copies and to make matters worse by March 2018 badland went radio silent the following month on April 20 18 limited-run CEO Josh Fairhurst sent an email to badland CEO Li scheme Duns asking for one of two things a repayment of the seventy eight thousand dollars or seventy eight thousand dollars worth of axiom verge copies that limited-run could distribute in partnership with Tom Happ to recoup money it was also noted that limited runs lawyer was being brought into the loop of their email correspondence just in case the following week limited runs a lawyer contacted badland with the warning that if the $78,000 weren't refunded by May 21st 2018 that begin collection efforts may twenty first came and went without a response and when the lawyer sent another warning email team Thon's finally responded by apologizing and by stating he'd prefer to deliver seventy eight thousand dollars worth of axiom verge copies rather than issue a repayment Fairhurst agreed and arranged for a phone call between the two parties to work out the details but the call never happened and Quintana went incognito again so Fairhurst finally decided to pursue legal action with requests for repayment being sent in August and a formal lawsuit being filed in October King Don's finally responded two weeks later with an email stating that badland Games was closed that publishing rights to axiom verge had been transferred back to Tom Happ and that bad land would continue its operations under a new company named bad land publishing games industries article then proceeded by presenting the situation from Badlands perspective the waking Don's described it was that they had some trouble with one of their lender banks Badlands Bank had mistakenly sent out a notice to the Bank of Spain that the company was behind on their loan payment and this caused other banks to cancel their credit lines by the time this error was updated and corrected two months later having missed important windows like the holidays due to this temporary lack of funding a downward spiral eventually resulted in bad land games closure on October 2018 from their King tons apparently managed to move some of their staff to the new company bad land publishing and explained to games industry that the reason he went in kognito for six months when limited-run tried to reach out was because he was focused on saving the company and its employees noting that after managing to get bad land publishing up and running he began contacting anyone the company owed money to claiming to have paid a ninety percent of debts sins but by the time King Don's contacted limited-run with an offer of another distribution deal or a soft repayment plan limited-run decided not to respond Fairhurst provided the following reasoning to not accept Keaton's new offer it was not until after the lawsuit was already filed and we had already incurred legal costs that bad land came back to the table at that point we've been without the money for over a year with no sign of delivery or refund from bad land it seemed highly unlikely at that point that they would actually honor any compromise that involved payment over time we felt obtaining the judgment was the only way to assure that honor their commitments which they still have not done there were indeed plenty of opportunities for King Duns to stay in touch with limited-run and at least explain the situation and work towards short-term solutions but instead the negligent CEO decided to go AWOL and left limited-run hanging for the better part of a year it's only natural that at this point limited-run favoured a lawsuit over another potentially volatile partnership with an unreliable company they felt had basically defrauded them fortunately for limited-run the lawsuit went well in large part because King Don's and badland Publishing's habit of radio silence persisted failing to respond to you correspondence regarding the lawsuit and legal proceedings and failing to show up to court so on December 4th 2018 by default bad land was ordered to reap a limited run the full amount of seventy eight thousand dollars as was an additional three thousand six hundred and seventy five dollars and 63 cents for interest and attorneys fees as of the publishing of this video bad land has still not paid the court-ordered amount and Fairhurst has no choice but to further pursue this case in Spain where bad land is based in fear Hurst also believes that bad land is more than capable of paying them back presently judging by how bad land has already released several physical retail products in the last few months projects which Ferrars believes bad land has spent at least $100,000 in suggesting they do have the capital to pay their debt to limited run back if they really wanted to on the other hand King tons put the blame unlimited run being uncommunicative throughout this entire process which is just rich coming from this guy he claims that the only correspondence he and his company received was the legal complaint in October and the notice about the courts final deliberation from December 4th just recently but nothing else yeah this is coming from the guy who completely cut all communications with limited-run failed to respond to their numerous inquiries failed to turn up to a phone call the two parties had arranged to settle the matter and didn't respond to lawsuits or show up to court Quintana also added quote in short this resolution says that we have to pay two limited-run which is what we're willing to do from the beginning but for that limited run has to want to talk to us and keep in mind that it is not possible to face all the payments at once they have wanted to talk with you for months and you kept ignoring them and leaving them hanging in a very difficult position in retort to King Don's claims when asked if there is proof that there is no truth to them limited-run tweeted this yes the author of the article was provided with our full correspondence with badland publishing with dates noted so they could see the months and months go by with no contact from luis accepting a payment plan would invalidate our lawsuit and give badland a chance to not pay games industries article finally concluded by highlighting limited runs commitment to releasing axiom verge multiverse edition on wiiu despite the dire straits with a company having reached out to developers tom happened daniel Adelman to get the situation sorted out which they managed to do judging by how the package is finally releasing on March 29th 2019 in limited quantities yes it is very late but under the circumstances it's kind of miraculous that this release is even happening and it's commendable that limited-run and Tom Happ remain committed towards keeping their word even if doing so is unlikely to bear much monetary for according to Fairhurst the limited-run has poured over a hundred and twenty thousand dollars into this venture and said that they'd be lucky to recover even a third of that money now I wish I could tell you that this is as bad as it gets but according to a string of tweets by Dan Edelman who handled the business and marketing side of things for axiom verge badland also failed to deliver on promises of compensation made to Tom Happ it's a long thread but I'd like to read the entirety of it as there is no better way to paint the full picture of how utterly messed up this situation is here's what Dan had to say limited run games just announced the long-awaited release details for axiom verge we you we have been quiet about it until now but badly on games ripped us me and Tom Happ off as well here are some of the details we had been approached by multiple publishers to do a physical release the reason we went with bad land is that the CEO said he was very sympathetic to Tom's son's health condition in case you weren't aware there were complications at birth which led to a neurological disorder called kernicterus tom has talked about it in more detail on his blog badland made us an offer we couldn't refuse in addition to matching what other publishers were offering in terms of a revenue share they said that contribute 75% of their cut to a trust fund set up for Alastair HAP's ongoing medical expenses everything seemed to be going well until it came time to spend the money to manufacture the discs and cartridges they kept stalling and it didn't take long for us to figure out they were running low on funds badland proposed that we financed the manufacture of all of the units and they would repay us once everything was shipped to the retailers who would pay for the inventory upon delivery this sent my spidey sense tingling so I insisted retailers pay Tom directly instead at that point we still thought badland was operating in good faith they were just low on cash we were still planning on dividing up the proceeds on the original terms so we decided not to publicize the fact that technically bad land wasn't publishing the game in North America included in the North American publishing was the relationship with limited run games we knew limited run games had paid a $78,000 advance and bad LAN was supposed to use those funds to pay to manufacture the WiiU inventory bad land kind of glossed over that detail until I asked fortunately for us limited run games agreed that $78,000 would stay between them and bad land limited run games would pay Tom HAP the amounts originally agreed upon they have been great allies through all of this bad land is based in Spain and the European order quantities were lower so they wanted to keep the publishing rights in Europe European distribution is a lot more complicated so we agreed bad land was able to fund production for the European market and finally launched there when it came time to pay Tom HAP for his share of European sales and contribute to Alistair's health care fund which Tom had to pay a lawyer to establish bad land went dark on us we didn't even really know how much they owed us though we have reason to believe it's about two hundred thousand dollars we have filed a lawsuit against them but because of the International nature of the suit it's proving hard to make headway the only silver lining from any of this is that by taking over the North American retail publishing responsibilities from bad land I got to learn that side of the business that's how leadmon games came to exist it's frustrating to see bad land publishing tweet about new games they're releasing no doubt funded with the money they owe limited run games and Tom Happ bad land has literally stolen money from a disabled toddler indeed if you go to bad land Publishing's Twitter page right now you will see a tweet from March 15th touting how they released a game called Mars chaos Menace the week prior and there are plenty of other tweets like this something else you find as a retweet of a statement written by Lise King tons in which he responded to accusations being thrown his way which reads as follows in response to the article published yesterday by games industry magazine and the comments expressed by limited run game Stan Adelman media and individuals I'm obliged to issue this statement explaining my side of the story the first thing I'd like to clarify is that I have never refused to pay the debt we have today with both companies and that I have documents that prove this fact I have always been willing to pay not only to them but to face the rest of the debts that had been contracted by bad land games which have been paid as far as the company's possibilities bad land games was in charge of the port of the WiiU axiom verge physical version which was plagued with difficulties because the company that had made the digital port could not handle it because it was immersed in other projects and simply sent us the code ported with its engine after months of work involving our production team Nintendo and the first company we were able to solve the disk management problem but by that time our company was facing serious financial problem that made the production of the game impossible it's common for companies to go through prosperity or crisis financial status and unfortunately bad LAN Games was going through an extremely difficult time at that moment over the next few months we were forced to focus on getting the business and jobs afloat and seeking funding both from banks and private investors to get the company through this is why the payment of the invoices to the Tom HAP foundation could not be completed the only thing I asked from these two companies was that the payment of the debts be made around a plan that at the moment we could face and with the will to accomplish them as it has been done with the rest of the partners or companies with which a debt had been incurred the last request for negotiation on our part was not accepted nor was the payment plan options that would probably have been accepted if badland games had been more proactive on this issue during this period of economic difficulties on the other hand I find it harder here that I am accused of taking advantage of a child's illness when I suffered it with my own child until only two weeks ago when he stopped taking medication from birth and is now four years old that's why when the axiom verge agreement was proposed we did not hesitate to take it forward without making it public on our part because our only will was to help I understand that due to the extreme situation we were going through our way of doing things has not been ideal and I am sorry for the damages this has caused to the parties involved but I want to reiterate that I'm still willing to reach out and assume the payment of the debt which I have never refused to avoid further damage to companies and people involved in this situation in fact before that the profits obtained by the publication of our first digital title ah the first three months were donated to Wikipedia and later we made the development of the game leopoldo Monkey sale as support to our partner David Santos this event is not going to change my way of proceeding or my values and I will continue to support as much as I can game development or anyone who asks for help likewise due to the seriousness of some of the accusations that have been made in relation to this issue I have been forced to put this matter in the hands of my lawyers who reserve the right to take legal action against anyone who might make public inaccurate or false information harmful to the interest of the company in which I now work bad land publishing or my own I make myself available to anyone who reads this document to expand on this information and to show the documentation that is required from me finally I'd like to thank the many friends and professionals in the industry who know me well and who have shown me their support and confidence in spite of everything that has been said Wow talk about self aggrandizing and playing the victim card in the most inopportune moment the only argument I'm hearing from King Dons is that he never said he wasn't going to repay that he was going to repay eventually whenever eventually is but that's no argument at all it doesn't matter what King Dunn's intentions were the fact still remains that bad land games failed to deliver on their end of a clear-cut deal and when the going was tough instead of communicating what was going on and seeking potential temporary solutions in a timely and responsible manner the company and its CEO were negligent and went AWOL on numerous occasions for months at a time time that limited run and Tom's infant child didn't have putting both of them in jeopardy in the face of such circumstances who would just sit around taking no actions indefinitely trusting everything will turn out okay when all signs seem to suggest that partnered with an unreliable untrustworthy uncooperative and woefully uncommunicative company it was only after the tangible threat of a lawsuit loomed later that king dunce responded and made some offers but the damage had been done by then trust had been breached beyond repair and it was too little too late making optics worse for bad land publishing is that while they dodged calls from limited-run they continued publishing games as if it were business as usual showing signs that they were fully operational and seemingly capable of repaying the $78,000 and here's the real kicker despite the damage King tons and bad land have done in light of having neglected to fulfill their duties and provide the agreed-upon compensation during his partnership with limited run and Tom Happ he concluded his statement with hostility by publicly flaunting threats of legal action against any parties throwing accusations at him King Don's puts his partner and an infant child in need of medical care through the wringer and instead of taking responsibility and issuing a proper apology he decides to respond with careful what you say or I just might sue you can we also talk about the fact that he tries to compare his child's medical needs to Tom's to garner sympathy look I'm glad your child pulled through King Don but that's irrelevant to the fact that at this moment it is Tom's child who requires frequent medical care it was you who promised you'd help pay for that care as the cherry on top to the agreed upon partnership and it's you who failed to keep your word inadvertently or not you compromised the child's well-being you sabotage his family's livelihood and it's baffling to me that you don't comprehend the severity of this hell you went months on end without responding to hails seemingly pretending like the financial aid you promised for a child and father in dire need of it never happened you know what I'm done giving this asshole more time out of my day instead let's talk about ways you can support the afflicted parties when it comes to limited run you can always go to their website and buy some of their products aside from selling physical releases of traditionally digital releases God's work in my opinion they've also got things like merchandise you can purchase as for ways to help Tom HAP pay for his child's medical bills well as stated in his blog regarding his child's condition his work is directly tied to his son's well-being with axiom verge having become necessary to support his child and his medical needs for the rest of his life so what better way is there for showing your support for Tom Mapp and his kid than by buying his game which is only twenty dollars and is apparently pretty damned hell you know what I'm gonna go ahead and do that right now and play it later tonight finally limited runs official Twitter page provided a link to this website which you can also find in the description and comments below where you can donate to the kernicterus research fund that way you can help all children who might be afflicted by this condition I don't want to make this video longer than it already is so I'll simply conclude by saying that I hope limited-run manages to land on their feet from all this and I wish Tom Happ all the best with his game his future ventures and the care of his beautiful child and I hope this video manages to help in some way with that I would like to end this news update and discussion video thank you for tuning in to be further updated on all things gaming news reviews and discussions stay tuned right here on young year I'll see you guys next time young out

36 thoughts on “Negligent Publisher Rips Off Axiom Verge Devs & Distributor, Impedes Dev Son's Well Being

  1. – Support Tom Happ and his son by purchasing Axiom Verge on your platform of choice. https://store.steampowered.com/app/332200/Axiom_Verge/

    – Support Limited Run Games by buying their products: https://www.limitedrungames.com/

    – Support Kernicterus Research by donating: https://secure2.convio.net/tcmh/site/Donation2;jsessionid=00000000.app20116b?3540.donation=form1&df_id=3540&mfc_pref=T&NONCE_TOKEN=FFFB8A004F78DCA46652FB2226EF892F

  2. Their story really falls apart, when they talk about having lawyers around to defend them. People who are short on money DON'T have lawyers on standby. They wouldn't be able to afford it, you're lucky if you can afford lawyers to reclaim debts. These guys are thieves and weasels, people well set up to take advantage of small indies and try to get away with it.

  3. Playing the the life of a child like it was a chess piece is akin to child abuse and deserves the flames of Hell!

    May God curse Luis Quintain's soul to those flames on the Hour of Judgment!

  4. i wonder yong yea will react to the memes of himself and also i didn't know this stuff happend so thx yong yea for being honest and informative

  5. Just here to say that Axiom Verge us a total love letter to Metroid which I was never into but as someone who didn't like that style of game I can tell you Axiom is very enjoyable!

  6. Limited Run looks like a Chinese rip off site. Everything is sold and looks like it never comes back at all. They sell games that are not even publish or made by them

  7. I'd love to support this guy by buying a physical release of his game.
    But I only own the Wii U, and Limited run sold most of their stock to scalpers.

  8. Oh, the Spainish right? The land of the Inquisition and of the Conquistadors who literally roasted tons of Native Americans? Of course you can trust them!

    Remember the Maine, To Hell With Spain.

  9. I've always bragged about how the publisher was directing funds towards Happs child. That was one of the coolest things I had witnessed in gaming period. So what and the HELL MAN!!!!!

  10. There is a strong chance, that since this company is largely loan and investment funded, what capital they have was probably loaned explicitly for their current projects. To spend that loan or investment on a different obligation, due or not, would probably get them in deeper water and possibly sued yet again by someone else. Right or not, bad behaviour or not, to simply continue publishing and hope for the best is probably the only course of action they reasonably take, even if only for self-preservation's sake.

    A bank commits a clerical error and people multiple steps down the line get fucked. This is capitalism in a nutshell.

  11. "We never SAID that we wouldn't pay"

    Funny how when you never say *anything at all*, "I won't pay" is one of the things you don't say

  12. i bought mine digitally so i hope he got my money. i dont need to buy physical in order for some mediocre publisher to take advantage of people.

  13. Sorry if this has been asked and answered, but is there a benefit/donation site where we can directly contribute to his son's care? I really hope that some good comes of this somehow, and id be glad to chip in.

  14. Thanks for the enlightenment on this situation. I will definitely check out Axiom Verge and likely make a purchase. I love Metroid, and it's for a great cause to a deserving Developer.

  15. Badlands CEO's SHADY AS FUCK sounding NAME would have been enough to make me not want to do business with them…. Lol.

  16. We hear by find Badlands Publishing CEO guilty of theft by deception and child endangerment. Sentence to be carried out by activists choice but requested seizure of funds or assets to relay into funding for the child in question if the legal system does not see to justice within one year's time.

    Go ahead, Badlands… Sue us. We are many, and you have not the army to take them all. The community of actual gamers are clans of many, with many still sets.

    Let's see if the legal system can show it still can handle its original purpose in duty in some kind of timely fashion for a change other than bullying citizens into accepting the declarations of the rich.

  17. Either the legal system starts protecting the innocent, or vigilante justice becomes necessity.

    The unjust remain unjust until they find the price too high to be unjust.

    Time they lost their ill gotten gains.

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