An open letter to Chris Newton, owner of The Indie Game Magazine


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DMorgan
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#1 at 02:07:19 - 31/01/2014
evilashchris
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Dirty protest.
#2 at 14:54:18 - 31/01/2014
nick1138
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Hats off for accusing someone of many of the things you are guilty of yourself.

Bonus points for the added libel.
#3 at 15:24:28 - 31/01/2014
Alastair
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Double bonus points for deleting the comments you didn't like. Is that a bit like "being, for want of a better phrase, a total control freak"
#4 at 15:45:57 - 31/01/2014
Jeepers
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Fuck me. That's one way to start your career in the industry.

And by 'start' I mean 'end.'

And by 'career' I mean 'unpaid hobby'.
#5 at 16:21:34 - 31/01/2014
Gremmi
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Numerous idioms spring to mind:

Those in glass houses, etc etc.
Those who play with fire, etc etc.
Don't try to run before you can walk.
A cow lying down is a portent of rain.
#6 at 16:51:58 - 31/01/2014
Chopsen
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Never write a letter angry.

Never post something you enjoyed writing.

I think you did both there.
#7 at 16:55:59 - 31/01/2014
Jeepers
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Chopsen said:Never write


Better, more specific advice?
#8 at 16:57:03 - 31/01/2014
Stickman
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He clearly didn't do a very good job of smothering you.
#9 at 16:59:34 - 31/01/2014
Gremmi
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Never post something geared for controversy and attention rather than something directed towards exposing "the truth".

Never post libelous statements in public forums.

Never publicly accuse someone of being overly controlling then delete public comments on said accusation.

Never gonna give you up.

Never gonna let you down.

Never gonna turn around

and hurt you.
#10 at 17:01:50 - 31/01/2014
nekotcha
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Sorry to hear you had what was clearly a bad experience DM - I know you were excited about getting that work which must have made the situation doubly frustrating.

To be honest I've lost count of the number of times I've wanted to sound off about a boss or a colleague during my time in the games industry, not to mention some of the stick I've gotten about some of the games I've worked on (*cough*Haze*cough*), so I think I can appreciate how you feel.

The thing I would suggest considering though is what it does for your own reputation amongst your readers, and your peers in the industry. On the one hand they might admire your desire to stand up and speak out against bad, unprofessional behaviour, but on the other they might see it as you being unprofessional instead - particularly as we've all had problem bosses in our time, and most people don't use a public blog to excoriate them.
#11 at 17:04:13 - 31/01/2014
Gremmi
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Oh, another thing.

Never write a public letter about some random event without thoroughly explaining what exactly happened. I've read through it twice and I still can't quite fathom the circumstances, other than a vague "my ex(presumably?)-boss is a shit, here's random unsubstantiated stuff mixed in with opinion" kind of thing. Junk the emotion and throw in some evidence, maybe.
#12 at 17:12:51 - 31/01/2014
nick1138
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Your american flag angers me. Change it back at once.
#13 at 17:50:44 - 31/01/2014
Gremmi
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I dunno how. It might do it by IP, as my country field in my profile is blank.
#14 at 18:03:04 - 31/01/2014
Gremmi
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Apparently the flag for the Democratic People's Republic of Lao is the Union flag.

Curious.
#15 at 18:05:56 - 31/01/2014
Gremmi
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VATICAN CITY REPRESENT

This is far more interesting than any of the original thread.
#16 at 18:08:43 - 31/01/2014
Bremenacht
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Fucks sake.

Awful.
#17 at 21:38:07 - 31/01/2014
HairyArse
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I was gonna delete this thread but seeing as a few people came out of the woodwork I'd like them to stay. ;)
#18 at 14:28:44 - 01/02/2014
HairyArse
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Gremmi said:Apparently the flag for the Democratic People's Republic of Lao is the Union flag.

Curious.


I have to manually code in the image link for every country and I only did the 'main' ones.
#19 at 14:30:09 - 01/02/2014
Whizzo
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Open letters are a useful way of bringing important matters into the public domain; scientists who feel they're being misrepresented by politicians, businesses who wish to make things clear that can only be done in a long piece of text etc. this is a spat about a site most people have probably never heard about, featuring characters, again, that most people have probably never heard of.

This is, in absolutely no way, something anyone actually gives a shit about.

It's also potentially libellous bollocks.
#20 at 17:49:44 - 01/02/2014
Gremmi
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HairyArse said:
Gremmi said:Apparently the flag for the Democratic People's Republic of Lao is the Union flag.

Curious.


I have to manually code in the image link for every country and I only did the 'main' ones.


This is why you have no repeat visitors from the Democratic People's Republic of Lao.
#21 at 18:58:38 - 01/02/2014
DMorgan
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Libel presumes that it isn't true.

I actually offered Newt the right of reply.

He declined - make of that what you will.

In addition, several other writers and games developers have since contacted me thanking me for speaking out, and a few other staff members at IGM have resigned.

Chris Priestman - the guy who originally broke the story about Newton charging developers - has since published a blog post, detailing how he has been contacted by another IGM writer thinking of leaving.

Tom Christiansen - another games journalist - has also given his support to the post.

I never wrote that article for attention; I wrote it because the tactics employed at IGM hurt not only the writers, but also Indie game developers who might find themselves being exploited. Also, everyone mentioned in that post (other than Newt, obviously) gave their consent prior to it going live.

I thought that by writing that blog (and seeding it around various places), I could perhaps spare some people the suffering of dealing with IGM and based on the responses so far (emails and things from various people), it has served its purpose in that regard.

That's all I have to say on the matter.

#22 at 20:11:54 - 04/02/2014
Binky
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Can I just ask - was this a paid for gig? Were the writers mentioned, yourself included, being paid by the guy who owned the site on a full time or freelance basis?

For me that would give a lot more context to what has gone on here.
#23 at 09:36:59 - 05/02/2014
DMorgan
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Binky said:Can I just ask - was this a paid for gig? Were the writers mentioned, yourself included, being paid by the guy who owned the site on a full time or freelance basis?

For me that would give a lot more context to what has gone on here.


We were hired with the promise of pay, which never materialised.

Newt promises people pay to get them onboard, but then keeps 100% of the site's earnings for himself.

There's other stuff I could say on this point, but it's not my place to mention it.

Also - there has been some confusion about my status at IGM when all this went down. I wasn't "on the sick". I suffered a personal loss and requested compassionate leave as a consequence.

However, I am also on a government scheme (New Enterprise Allowance) which places me on a strict deadline to reach certain milestones, so while I wasn't writing for IGM for a week (not a month, not several weeks, just one week - and even during that time I was helping out other IGM writers with things) I had to continue working on my own site in order to meet the milestones for the NEA scheme.

The compassionate leave was agreed with Newt before taking it. Unfortunately, Newt appears to not understand the concept.
#24 at 10:57:37 - 05/02/2014
Binky
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See that's what I don't understand. Why would anyone "request" compassionate leave, or ANY kind of leave from an unpaid job. It is by its very definition NOT a job. You are volunteering.

If he is indeed promising money for something and then not delivering then clearly he's a bit of a knobber, but you've got to take a look at why you signed up anyway.
#25 at 16:24:24 - 05/02/2014
nekotcha
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One thing I've learned from working freelance is that the world is full of people who want you to work for them for free. Unless you have a contract, and they've paid you some money up-front, then I would work under the assumption that they're probably not going to pay you at all.

And Binky's right - unless you had a contract in place you were under no obligation to request leave, compassionate or otherwise.
#26 at 16:48:13 - 05/02/2014
DMorgan
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nekotcha said:One thing I've learned from working freelance is that the world is full of people who want you to work for them for free. Unless you have a contract, and they've paid you some money up-front, then I would work under the assumption that they're probably not going to pay you at all.

And Binky's right - unless you had a contract in place you were under no obligation to request leave, compassionate or otherwise.


Of course, but I requested it out of common courtesy.

Hell, several fairly major sites I could mention actually delete your account if you don't meet a weekly article quota - despite the fact that they don't pay (and Hairy might have an idea of one of the sites I'm talking about here).
#27 at 19:06:58 - 05/02/2014
nekotcha
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Hum. Well, I don't have any experience of being a games writer but I'd say if a site is going to treat you like that then you're better off not working for them at all.
#28 at 09:58:39 - 06/02/2014
Binky
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Well said, Nekotcha.

If you're not getting paid for work then you're doing it very wrong.

(Unless you're doing it for funsies like writing for AATG).
#29 at 10:14:58 - 06/02/2014
DMorgan
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Yeah, I should have left a lot sooner. To be honest, a few of us had been thinking about it for a while and discussing it in private, ever since Adkins resigned.
So in a way, Newt just saved us the hassle of writing our resignation emails :D

At least now I can focus on my own thing for a bit :)
#30 at 12:48:37 - 06/02/2014

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