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Chris Avellone: The Final Frontier

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So it works right that? A company has the right to be unhetical and do terrible things about you and you must stay silent otherwise you are the bad guy?

 

Again slave mentality.

 

 

 

 You keep writing about "slave mentality". Avellone was in upper management at Obsidian and, apparently, had a falling out with others in upper management for reasons that we will never know.

 

 Obsidian, as an entity, said nothing bad about him when he left. If you think Obsidian started this, you are imagining things. If you think Obsidian is retaliating against Avellone, you are also imagining things.  The class struggle you seem to think is happening here is happening only in your head. In the real world, Avellone is venting his feelings of resentment in public. He is mostly hurting his own reputation and he is attempting to hurt his former co-workers. 

 

 

There is the part they forced an nda on his neck that everyone keep forgetting may be true or not :yes:

 

 

An NDA? It doesn't seem to have worked.

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Not all incorporated businesses issue stock. Since Obsidian is privately held, there’s no reason to assume that Chris (or anyone) has any.

 

True, but it'd be weird for a company the size of Obsidian, which was co-founded by five different people who put their own money down as capital, to not issue internal shares to its owners. Like, really weird. 

 

Someone over on codex dug up the articles of incorporation, and it lists the company as being able to issue up to 1,000,000 shares of common stock.

 

Though, it doesn't necessarily follow that any of the shares had a specific monetary value.  It could entirely just be a legal construct to internally manage ownership percentages.

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Shares can be voting shares. They can also be equity, and some equity shares can be diluted. Basically micro inflation.

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So it works right that? A company has the right to be unhetical and do terrible things about you and you must stay silent otherwise you are the bad guy?

 

Again slave mentality.

 

 

 

 You keep writing about "slave mentality". Avellone was in upper management at Obsidian and, apparently, had a falling out with others in upper management for reasons that we will never know.

 

 Obsidian, as an entity, said nothing bad about him when he left. If you think Obsidian started this, you are imagining things. If you think Obsidian is retaliating against Avellone, you are also imagining things.  The class struggle you seem to think is happening here is happening only in your head. In the real world, Avellone is venting his feelings of resentment in public. He is mostly hurting his own reputation and he is attempting to hurt his former co-workers. 

 

 

There is the part they forced an nda on his neck that everyone keep forgetting may be true or not :yes:

 

He's an idiot then because if he had one he's basically used it as toilet paper.

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Not all incorporated businesses issue stock. Since Obsidian is privately held, there’s no reason to assume that Chris (or anyone) has any.

True, but it'd be weird for a company the size of Obsidian, which was co-founded by five different people who put their own money down as capital, to not issue internal shares to its owners. Like, really weird.

I’m sure there’s a charter outlining how profits and risk are split.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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There is the part they forced an nda on his neck that everyone keep forgetting may be true or not :yes:

 

 

An 'NDA' isn't retaliation, and is fairly standard practice in most contracts*. If, as he claims, he left on his own terms they couldn't force an 'NDA' at that point even if they wanted to- though normal rules about disclosing commercial information presumably apply since they're base line legal requirements. They could only force a 'non compete', the other interpretation of his claim, if they were paying him and evidence is absolute that he was allowed to work elsewhere even before leaving.

 

*every single employment contract I've signed has included an 'NDA'- and that includes high powered positions such as working at a petrol station and packing tomatoes to stuff where it was 100% sensible for the employer to put in.

 

 

Not all incorporated businesses issue stock. Since Obsidian is privately held, there’s no reason to assume that Chris (or anyone) has any.

 

True, but it'd be weird for a company the size of Obsidian, which was co-founded by five different people who put their own money down as capital, to not issue internal shares to its owners. Like, really weird. 

 

 

Surely you must have some sort of ownership delineation mandated in the US though? So far as I am aware it's an absolute requirement here in NZ to have who owns how much of a company specified in order to be a company. Pretty sure it's a requirement even for company like entities such as Trusts. It's definitely a requirement for Partnerships/ See Look Through Companies here as I've ended up administering one (without being a Partner).

Edited by Zoraptor
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Not all incorporated businesses issue stock. Since Obsidian is privately held, there’s no reason to assume that Chris (or anyone) has any.

True, but it'd be weird for a company the size of Obsidian, which was co-founded by five different people who put their own money down as capital, to not issue internal shares to its owners. Like, really weird.

Someone over on codex dug up the articles of incorporation, and it lists the company as being able to issue up to 1,000,000 shares of common stock.

 

Though, it doesn't necessarily follow that any of the shares had a specific monetary value. It could entirely just be a legal construct to internally manage ownership percentages.

Nice find to whoever made it.

 

One possibility is that shares were issued based on initial investment.


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Companies get those clauses in to stop employees from going to the competition at company B with company A's ideas. Why? Because Obsidian has some 170 people working for it and their continued employment is more vauluable than the single individual who is quitting, being fired, etc. Also, it doesn't matter "who" this individual is. The CEO's job is to try and protect all his employee's jobs. Sometimes they succeed, but not always.

 

Hypothetically,let's say the Tim Cain game has some pretty new tech for dialogue that is really good and makes the pipeline super easy compared to anything they've made before. MCA quits, goes to Bethesda, and says "Hey, this new dialogue system I was working with at Obsidian would work well here. Let's make something similar." Now, Obsidian's hard work is being replicated by a company much bigger and more weight to throw around. This could hurt Obsidian by reducing any money they make, and jeopardize some 170 jobs at the company.

 

They didnt say he couldn't work on games, but RPGs specifically. My guess is they have some ideas that MCA knows about that are specific to RPGs that they would like to implement, but don't want it showing up in another title before they get the chance. They also didnt banish him forever, but most likely for a few years.

 

My company makes you sign a clause to not work at their competitor for 5 years if you quit, are fired, or whatever. The difference is we only have 1 real competitor and not about 10.

 

Obsidian doesnt really compete with Take Two, but to some extent they do compete with Larian, InXile, even bigger studios like Bethesda and CDPR. So, ensuring your ideas benefit your company and employees from your competition is actually normal, and IMHO a pretty moral thing to try to do. Now, there may be extenuating circumstances we aren't aware of here, but nothing MCA has said about this clause indicates as much.

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Companies get those clauses in to stop employees from going to the competition at company B with company A's ideas. Why? Because Obsidian has some 170 people working for it and their continued employment is more vauluable than the single individual who is quitting, being fired, etc. Also, it doesn't matter "who" this individual is. The CEO's job is to try and protect all his employee's jobs. Sometimes they succeed, but not always.

 

Hypothetically,let's say the Tim Cain game has some pretty new tech for dialogue that is really good and makes the pipeline super easy compared to anything they've made before. MCA quits, goes to Bethesda, and says "Hey, this new dialogue system I was working with at Obsidian would work well here. Let's make something similar." Now, Obsidian's hard work is being replicated by a company much bigger and more weight to throw around. This could hurt Obsidian by reducing any money they make, and jeopardize some 170 jobs at the company.

 

They didnt say he couldn't work on games, but RPGs specifically. My guess is they have some ideas that MCA knows about that are specific to RPGs that they would like to implement, but don't want it showing up in another title before they get the chance. They also didnt banish him forever, but most likely for a few years.

 

My company makes you sign a clause to not work at their competitor for 5 years if you quit, are fired, or whatever. The difference is we only have 1 real competitor and not about 10.

 

Obsidian doesnt really compete with Take Two, but to some extent they do compete with Larian, InXile, even bigger studios like Bethesda and CDPR. So, ensuring your ideas benefit your company and employees from your competition is actually normal, and IMHO a pretty moral thing to try to do. Now, there may be extenuating circumstances we aren't aware of here, but nothing MCA has said about this clause indicates as much.

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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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5 years for non compete? Wow, would be surprised if that could be enforced.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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5 years for non compete? Wow, would be surprised if that could be enforced.

In fairness, it doesn't get enforced at all really. I know of one person in past 2 years that was fired that went right over to the competition for a job. However, anyone hired signs that form in order to start working. Keep in mind that the rules for these sorts of things vary by state, and it's hard to say what would be upheld in any given state. Although, I would hazard a guess that California is more lax than my state, but I can't say for sure.

 

It's also a question of whether it is worth it to legally follow up on. In the case with my employer it probably isn't. In the case with MCA... It might be. He is probably much more in the know than the guy from my company was. Although, MCA didnt sign it from what I've read. So there isnt anything to follow up on. Had he signed it... Things might be much different.

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I had a friend who was a shipping supplier for many years, and when he left the job, he had a non-compete for ~several~ years... during which they paid him a small salary.

Edited by Gizmo

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So, umm. What kinda ****ed up laws do you have in USA if you can just take away someone's owner stake from a company and not pay a dime for it. To me that just sounds ridicilous. Unless they faked his signature on some documents I'm pretty sure it couldn't be done here.

That's exactly why this story doesn't add up.

EDIT: Unless as some say above pretty much everyone hated him and voted him out with their combined controlling interest in the company. But in his story somehow Feargus (AKA Moloch the Devourer) can just magically make this happen on his own.

 

Even they voted him out, they don't really de-ownered him though, you can't vote one's stake in the company out without paying him. He won't have a say in the management for sure, but he will still have his stake.

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So, umm. What kinda ****ed up laws do you have in USA if you can just take away someone's owner stake from a company and not pay a dime for it. To me that just sounds ridicilous. Unless they faked his signature on some documents I'm pretty sure it couldn't be done here.

That's exactly why this story doesn't add up.

EDIT: Unless as some say above pretty much everyone hated him and voted him out with their combined controlling interest in the company. But in his story somehow Feargus (AKA Moloch the Devourer) can just magically make this happen on his own.

Even they voted him out, they don't really de-ownered him though, you can't vote one's stake in the company out without paying him. He won't have a say in the management for sure, but he will still have his stake.
Unless he quit in response to being “de-ownered” which is what he said he did.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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And he also refused to sign any contract, or accept any payments,that prevented him from spilling all their dirt laundry. 

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So, umm. What kinda ****ed up laws do you have in USA if you can just take away someone's owner stake from a company and not pay a dime for it. To me that just sounds ridicilous. Unless they faked his signature on some documents I'm pretty sure it couldn't be done here.

That's exactly why this story doesn't add up.

EDIT: Unless as some say above pretty much everyone hated him and voted him out with their combined controlling interest in the company. But in his story somehow Feargus (AKA Moloch the Devourer) can just magically make this happen on his own.

Even they voted him out, they don't really de-ownered him though, you can't vote one's stake in the company out without paying him. He won't have a say in the management for sure, but he will still have his stake.
Unless he quit in response to being “de-ownered” which is what he said he did.

Yup, and by not signing those clauses he probably forfeited any rights to a payout. Which I believe he also said that he did. A stipulation to signing those clauses may have also given him some time on maintaining his insurance plan for a while. It's all hard to say given how little we know about the details of those documents.

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Companies get those clauses in to stop employees from going to the competition at company B with company A's ideas. Why? Because Obsidian has some 170 people working for it and their continued employment is more vauluable than the single individual who is quitting, being fired, etc. Also, it doesn't matter "who" this individual is. The CEO's job is to try and protect all his employee's jobs. Sometimes they succeed, but not always.

 

Hypothetically,let's say the Tim Cain game has some pretty new tech for dialogue that is really good and makes the pipeline super easy compared to anything they've made before. MCA quits, goes to Bethesda, and says "Hey, this new dialogue system I was working with at Obsidian would work well here. Let's make something similar." Now, Obsidian's hard work is being replicated by a company much bigger and more weight to throw around. This could hurt Obsidian by reducing any money they make, and jeopardize some 170 jobs at the company.

 

They didnt say he couldn't work on games, but RPGs specifically. My guess is they have some ideas that MCA knows about that are specific to RPGs that they would like to implement, but don't want it showing up in another title before they get the chance. They also didnt banish him forever, but most likely for a few years.

 

My company makes you sign a clause to not work at their competitor for 5 years if you quit, are fired, or whatever. The difference is we only have 1 real competitor and not about 10.

 

Obsidian doesnt really compete with Take Two, but to some extent they do compete with Larian, InXile, even bigger studios like Bethesda and CDPR. So, ensuring your ideas benefit your company and employees from your competition is actually normal, and IMHO a pretty moral thing to try to do. Now, there may be extenuating circumstances we aren't aware of here, but nothing MCA has said about this clause indicates as much.

I find it absurd that lots of people claiming Obsidian tries to use the non compete clause to "ban Chris from doing RPG ever again."

 

Even someone is careless enough to sign such a thing(a non-compete contract last forever), it won't matter since it's not legal and they can't do **** with it when you just ignore it and go work for the competitors.

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I also find it absurd that a non-compete clause that lasts forever would ever be upheld. A year or two? Maybe. Forever? Nope, we have a society completely built on very specialized knowledge. Never will an engineer be told he can't go and work on another similar project. This would make it so that an engineer who specializes in microprocessors can't get work, and it would never fly. However, there may be some situations where something temporary might be enforceable.

 

Either way we still know very little about those documents, and that means MCA's decisions could have caused the negative repercussions he is venting about. Or, perhaps he is 100% in the right. We'll never know, most likely.

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So, umm. What kinda ****ed up laws do you have in USA if you can just take away someone's owner stake from a company and not pay a dime for it. To me that just sounds ridicilous. Unless they faked his signature on some documents I'm pretty sure it couldn't be done here.

That's exactly why this story doesn't add up.

EDIT: Unless as some say above pretty much everyone hated him and voted him out with their combined controlling interest in the company. But in his story somehow Feargus (AKA Moloch the Devourer) can just magically make this happen on his own.

 

Even they voted him out, they don't really de-ownered him though, you can't vote one's stake in the company out without paying him. He won't have a say in the management for sure, but he will still have his stake.

 

Unless he quit in response to being “de-ownered” which is what he said he did.

 

Someone at Obsidian must be legendery at persuation if they can talk Chris into agreeing "giving up all the stake he has, all the money he should receive based on his stake, and didn't sign a NDA yet didn't tell everyone how evil Obsidian is right out the gate"

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So, umm. What kinda ****ed up laws do you have in USA if you can just take away someone's owner stake from a company and not pay a dime for it. To me that just sounds ridicilous. Unless they faked his signature on some documents I'm pretty sure it couldn't be done here.

That's exactly why this story doesn't add up.

EDIT: Unless as some say above pretty much everyone hated him and voted him out with their combined controlling interest in the company. But in his story somehow Feargus (AKA Moloch the Devourer) can just magically make this happen on his own.

Even they voted him out, they don't really de-ownered him though, you can't vote one's stake in the company out without paying him. He won't have a say in the management for sure, but he will still have his stake.
Unless he quit in response to being “de-ownered” which is what he said he did.
Someone at Obsidian must be legendery at persuation if they can talk Chris into agreeing "giving up all the stake he has, all the money he should receive based on his stake, and didn't sign a NDA yet didn't tell everyone how evil Obsidian is right out the gate"
Huh?

 

He didn’t sign the non-complete agreement.

We don’t know that he didn’t receive his money.

His stake would be forfeit if he quit, which we know he did because he told us.


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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We will probably never get the full story on this, so I find it kind of useless to speculate on whatever deals or lackthereof surrounded Avellone's departure.

 

I will say that

 

A) It seems kinda suspect that the guy claims his beef is purely with upper management in one breath and indirectly accuses pretty much everyone working there of rank incompetence immediately prior to that. It's a cowardly kind of passive aggressiveness, and it doesn't really reflect well on him.

 

B) If this is really about revealing corporate wrongdoing, why are we taking this to RPG Codex, a website well known for it's population of alt-right grognards? Why not actual journalists? Is he worried that Obsidian, the company not all that long ago on the verge of going out of business pre-Pillars, is going to...what exactly? Use it's limitless warchest to hush all the journalists?

 

That said I'm not willing to discard the possibility that his allegations are partially or fully true. Just because he's doing this in an incredibly ill advised way doesn't mean he's wrong.

 

But it does give reason to doubt.

Edited by Fiaryn

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MCA is awesome.

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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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If this is really about revealing corporate wrongdoing, why are we taking this to RPG Codex, a website well known for it's population of alt-right grognards? Why not actual journalists?

 

Larger websites/ magazines would vet what he says against the possibility of them being sued and they'd also go to Obsidian to get their side of the story. A fair bit of what he has said would likely not be publishable due to being potentially defamatory. If you got a good journalist they might also ask about inconsistencies and seek clarifications, as well as questioning his timing.

 

The Codex is a good place because it is just a forum, he'd laid the groundwork by answering unrelated questions for a few months to boost his already considerable goodwill there and, well, codexers do so love spreading the drama. They also quite patently aren't above sticking the knife into people they feel have betrayed them, like InXile.

 

For all we know he may have gone to journalists first, and been turned down. I doubt it though, personally. It seems far more like an attempt to get grass roots traction a few days before Deadfire launches in the knowledge that any comment Obsidian made in rebuttal would be counter productive. If he thought his comments would stay Codex only he was hideously- and frankly, unbelievably- naive.

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