1. Strikerrr

    Strikerrr
    Member OP

    This comes from his comments following a larger interview on RPG Codex found here: http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=10894
    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/inde...erarchies-and-more.121588/page-8#post-5590121
    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/inde...rarchies-and-more.121588/page-69#post-5594637
    This is rather shocking behavior coming from Obsidian, the company which Chris helped found after Black Isle.

    Update: Thanks to Sinatar for going through the thread and finding responses from Eric Fenstermaker and more posts from Chris
    In addition, Jason Schreier is following up on it:
    [​IMG]
    Anthony Davis, the Lead Programmer at Obsidian, chimed in as well.
     
  2. labpleb

    labpleb
    Member

    Holy shit. Absolutely disgusting. Makes me actually re-evaluate my support of the company.
     
  3. data

    data
    Member

    Wonder what Obsidian's response to this will be.

    Strange time to be coming out with this now, but we only have one side of the perspective.

    EDIT:

    There is definitely more to this story than what was initially posted.

    Sinatra has wonderfully scanned the rest of the forums for other posts by Chris and Eric in further posts.
     
  4. Solid

    Solid
    Member

    Yeah, god damn.
     
  5. Uncle Sensei

    Uncle Sensei
    Member

    That sounds really crazy and harsh. The thought of Chris not working on RPGs is not a pleasant one.
     
  6. gdt

    gdt
    Member

    Woah. Woah. Woahhhhhhh.

    Didn't know all this bad blood was going on. This de/ownered shit is nuts.
     
  7. FreezePeach

    FreezePeach
    Member

    Intentionally timed from the Codex i see. With Pillars 2 coming out next week and all.
     
  8. MattyG

    MattyG
    Member

    This sucks to read. I'm in the middle of enjoying PoE right now, loved what I played of Tyranny and am hyped for PoE2, but this is making me question my support of them. I feel like I read stuff in the past about their management having issues (maybe in Schrier's book?)
     
  9. labpleb

    labpleb
    Member

    This also explains why he was suddenly writing for basically every upcoming RPG: he had to make money to pay off the debt (and because he's a really good writer but you get my point).
     
  10. Phantom Thief

    Phantom Thief
    Member

    C'mon Obsidian, you're supposed to be one of the good peeps.
    Sucks to hear that, I am glad Avellone won't be held down by this.
     
  11. BrickArts295

    BrickArts295
    Member

    Gonna need a Blood and Pixels Part 2 from Jschreier
    This is kinda shocking after recently reading the chapter about the company.
     
  12. aesync

    aesync
    Member

    This is absolutely insane
     
  13. {Marvelous}

    {Marvelous}
    Member

    A world where Avellone can't work on RPG's is not a world I want to live in.
     
  14. Akinsa

    Akinsa
    Member

    How would a contract like that even be legal?

    NDAs I can understand, but removing the ability to “critique” the company’s work entirely? Removing the ability to ever work on a game that can be described as an “RPG”? How do you even define that in legal terms to begin with? Non compete clauses can only go so far, and are illegal in many states to begin with.
     
  15. hemtae

    hemtae
    Member

    He is in a very sharing mood in that Codex thread lol.

    Also accuses Eric Fenstermaker of chasing off John Gonzalez. Also he is apparently employed by Ken Levine's studio.
     
  16. Riversands

    Riversands
    Member

    What kind of contracr is that? Company cannot forbid a certain person to do something especially if it is not associated to them, it violates human's right.
     
  17. Van Bur3n

    Van Bur3n
    Member

    I'm disappointed, Feargus. I thought you were one of the good ones.

    Aw, not him too.


    Hopefully this warrants a response from Obsidian to some degree. This is a lot of dirty stuff to be revealed all of a sudden.
     
  18. Kieli

    Kieli
    Member

    Very bad look on Obsidian's front. Granted, this is one side of the story and they do not yet have the opportunity to respond. But some of the points brought up sound unethical to me and really pushes me to re-evaluate my support of the company. I've kickstarted/fig'd both PoE 1 & 2, but I'm not sure I'm in for their future ventures.
     
  19. gdt

    gdt
    Member

    I feel like the book def touched on some tension there but nothing like this.
     
  20. FreezePeach

    FreezePeach
    Member

    Be aware, not that im denying anything, but grains of salt might be useful, as the Codex is an Avellone fanboy haven that tends to shit on devs like Obsidian in current times and is full of honestly trash people. I mean, just browse some of the codex threads and you get a sense of the type of folk that hang out there. They have something to gain from dropping this right before Pillars 2 comes out.
     
  21. Kuga

    Kuga
    Member

    It could be part of a non-compete agreement, which can sometimes be enforceable depending on the contents and how it is written. A blanket "you cannot work on X type of game" statement doesn't sound like it would hold up on court, though I am not a legal expert.
     
  22. Aquavelvaman

    Aquavelvaman
    Member

    Unionize games workers
     
  23. Doc Kelso

    Doc Kelso
    Member

    Unless they very strictly define what "RPG" means (and it's honestly a meaningless term these days), it's far from enforceable. The legal threat is enough to make most people double-take, though.
     
  24. God damn!! Nice way to treat the guy that helped co found your company and was (for me) their biggest draw card :/
     
  25. SolVanderlyn

    SolVanderlyn
    Member

    Glad he came out and revealed the truth. This is nuts.

    #teamavellone
     
  26. 10k

    10k
    Member

    Burn Obsidian to the ground. Kind of glad I haven't bought a game from them since KOTOR II.
     
  27. Enduin

    Enduin
    Member

    It would be helpful if you included responses from others at Obsidian like Eric Fenstermaker who was Narrative Lead on PoE, now a freelance writer himself:

    As well a response from Anthony Davis, Lead Programmer at Obsidian:

    [​IMG]
     
  28. decoyplatypus

    decoyplatypus
    Member

    That contract doesn't sound enforceable under California law, but that's sort of beside the point: it would still be outrageous for Obsidian to ask him to sign it.
     
  29. Sou Da

    Sou Da
    Member

    >Codex interview

    Yeah nah.
     
  30. TheRedSnifit

    TheRedSnifit
    Member

    RPG Codex isn't a hive mind, lol.

    I don't even know what you're implying. Did they kidnap Chris Avellone and force him to criticize Obsidian?
     
  31. Although I'd like to act shocked and do a hot-take, I need both sides of the story from both parties to form an opinion.
     
  32. Paz

    Paz
    Member

    I know we only have one side here but I've only ever known people to say the best things about Chris Avellone as a person and a developer, in an industry where it's surprisingly common for people to tell me that famous developer X or Y is an asshole or a hack or a political animal who doesn't really contribute to the games they are publicly credited for.

    I'd give him the benefit of the doubt here, plus nobody publicly burns bridges like this in games unless the situation is truly untenable.
     
  33. Asbsand

    Asbsand
    Member

    This isn't as big as Bungie but it seems all these companies that I think are so good and I look up to them; at the end of the day they're just businesses after all and the top-level conversation doesn't beat around the bush on that. It still sounds like this is some underhanded bs coming from Obsidian and I feel like Chris is waving his critique between the words here.

    I can't judge the situation any more than any of your from this angle, but knowing Chris from his GDC talks, interviews, work in games and etc. you know he's a critical guy and in some situations one might view him as a "half-empty" sort of guy because he's concerned with quality and rational design. I could imagine many people (and I'm gamedev too) who would be closed off to that kind of attitude and it no doubt leads to a lot of arguments within a company. The thing he said about the "de-ownering threat" being thrown around sounds exactly like that, when people undercut a candid creative spirit to assure that you simply get things made. I remember in the recent interview with Mike Laidlaw at Game Informer I was a little concerned by something he said about "team-players" where some people, according to him, "create problems" when they criticise things during the project. Criticism needs a fine balance but like with Marty O Donnell at Bungie, being too openly skeptical or dismissive can lead to your coworkers turning their backs on you.

    I dunno what happened, but I could easily imagine others finding Chris's work mentality tiresome which isn't a knock to him, it's a knock to nobody and just my acknowledgment that gamedev can be tough when you have to always concentrate hard and do things the right way and thereby question everything in a process.

    Sorry if this is overthinking things. I know it's speculation but going by his words and knowing his personality a bit that's just my impression.
     
  34. Kieli

    Kieli
    Member

    Thanks, I'm not one to jump to conclusions based on just one report or comment. I'll be looking closely at how this plays out because these are some strong assertions and I can't see Obsidian not responding to them.
     
  35. They have Non-Compete Disclosures some industries have you sign, but it is usually only for a set time duration (1-3 years on average).
     
  36. Chumley

    Chumley
    Member

    This is totally nuts. I can’t support the company in good conscience after reading this, Avellone’s word has always been solid.
     
  37. Sou Da

    Sou Da
    Member

    [​IMG]
     
  38. SteveWinwood

    SteveWinwood
    Member

    I thought this would be some over reaction to some non compete agreement but no holy shit this is way worse.
     
  39. decoyplatypus

    decoyplatypus
    Member

    California is much quicker to void non-competes than other states (in most cases they are outright void). That's one of the reasons employment in Silicon Valley is so fluid.
     
  40. Sou Da

    Sou Da
    Member

    For the record I seriously doubt he's lying, I just wish literally any other website got this interview.
     
  41. Riversands

    Riversands
    Member

    So it is not a kinda like life life-permanent contract?
     
  42. FreezePeach

    FreezePeach
    Member

    I mean, there is a reason he opens with 'This might be pointless here at the Codex'. As i described before.
     
  43. TheRedSnifit

    TheRedSnifit
    Member


    Wat.

    I'm insinuating that RPG Codex is probably not a sentient entity behind a conspiracy to make Obsidian look bad by ???ing its former employees.
     
  44. Aters

    Aters
    Member

    "Cannot work on any RPG" is the craziest shit I heard today. What does it even mean legally?
     
  45. VAPORxDYNE

    VAPORxDYNE
    Member

    They'll probably ignore it and people will probably forget soon enough, especially if they have to decide between ignoring these events or playing the next anticipated Obsidian game.
     
  46. the_wart

    the_wart
    Banned Member

    Frankly, a bunch of his story makes little sense. Can anyone with any knowledge of business law comment on the "de-owner" thing? Your ownership of part of a company can't just be removed without some form of compensation. The fact that he's airing this stuff to sycophantic white supremacists instead of any actual reporters like Jason Schrier does not increase his credibility.
     
  47. Chumley

    Chumley
    Member

    What fucking difference does it make what site this came from.
     
  48. data

    data
    Member

    That would be unfortunate and if they really do choose to ignore it, that will definitely be bad for them for trying to suppress it.

    Obviously, an additional perspective will help, as it's too hasty to judge this situation with a one-sided story.

    Probably be a PR response. Similar to the situation with Naughty Dog and hostile work environment allegations/ hostile employees. Still better than not addressing it.
     
  49. This adds a sad tone to that debate about whether or not Prey was a RPG
     
  50. Strings

    Strings
    Member

    Non-compete clauses are fucking nuts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-compete_clause
     
  51. Sou Da

    Sou Da
    Member

    Because they're huge sycophants that always goad him into taking potshots at Obsidian every chance they get in his forum posts?