Forum Overview :: Mischief Maker's Maker's Mark
This company is run by cheap bastards by skip 05/08/2016, 1:53pm PDT
skip wrote:

Alphas are a bigger scam than Kickstarters.

And like many conmen they treat their employees like dogshit and pay them $2,400 a year. That's not a typo. Highlights from here which has more links to the evidence.

The last two major releases of KSP have been questionable in quality. Known major game-breaking bugs getting through the QA phase and released to millions of people to play, followed by several hotfixes over the next few weeks that often break just as much as much as they solve. Last week, the devs were sent on vacation despite numerous of these game-breaking bugs going unfixed; so they remain for the next two weeks.
This is fine and dandy for the early access a lot of us bought into, but 1.0 last year was their "out of Beta" release. They gave it to reviewers and they took the "Early Access" tag off in Steam. They're now selling this game for $40 as a fully functional product, but it's broken and absolutely does not support all the platforms they claim to. After the latest patch, the community has been less forgiving about the mistake and want some answers.
After looking into it a bit, we (the community) found that Squad is not really a game development studio, it started as a guerilla marketing company. KSP is the dream child of one of their employees who was about to leave to make his passion project. If he did, the projects he was working on would fall through and the business would go under (good sign). So in exchange for him finishing his projects, they would give him 6 months to work on the game.

That explains so much.

Well, a Polygon article was found, where the owners themselves admitted to the author that they were channeling money from the game's profits as a way to escape the marketing industry. One owner, Ayarza, is working on his own movie. The other, Goya, wants to work on his own record label:

The entire game exists so the owners can pursue their own projects (movie, music) which are almost guaranteed to fail. We'll call this Chris Roberts Syndrome.

This plays heavily into a recent assumption that the 1.0 and 1.1 releases have been pushed so hard and sloppily because of their new console deals. They needed to leave Beta to secure the deals, they needed to release 1.1 (Unity 5 update) to work on console ports. It fairly undeniably confirms that they're setting unrealistic timeframes and nigh-forcing the developers to meet them. EDIT: That last sentence just seems to me a nice way of saying "the owners make impossible promises, then make the employees work to the bone to meet them."

The first post there speaks about how they would work 80 hour weeks yet only make $2,400. As soon as their immediate "usefulness" ran out, they were booted from the team. In Mexico, this is about twice minimum wage, so if you live there it's not... atrociously bad... kinda. But they're hiring international as well, so who knows what's going on behind these closed doors. For all we know, some of them make $2,400, others make $90,000, and they have NDEs that bar them from speaking about it to each other. EDIT: /u/r4m0n has apparently confirmed with other developers that this was the usual salary being offered. Some members made significantly more, up to $2,000 monthly, but these were the exceptions and is still far below what they should be receiving.

I bet they tell themselves that in Mexico this is a lot of money. Except so much of their sales are in American dollars so it's not like they can't afford to pay more instead of trying to put out their own shitty films or CDs. They just sucker naive, idealistic developers who are eager to work on a popular indie game into accepting pennies. We'll call this Penny Arcade Syndrome.

THIS JUST IN: Just before 1.0 was released, a Dutch company called Deported B.V. was created and the KSP license was transferred to them. Due to the permissive Dutch tax laws, this allows them to avoid paying taxes to Mexico and use the much lower Dutch ones. This company is then owned by a Parallel Dynamics corporation, which we know little to nothing about at the moment other than being based in Mexico City, similar to Squad. Thanks to /u/Mirkury for the information.

Remember when big companies were the eeevil bullies and indie developers were going to save us from these unethical assholes? So much for that. This is Bobby Kotick Syndrome. They also issued their own non-denial denial.

In Squad we are very proud of having a very united team, committed to creating a high quality product, improving themselves as professionals, promoting and respecting the opinion of every member of the KSP community.

The comments made by those former team members does not reflect the reality of our company, but in Squad we will keep moving along with our commitment of respecting and listening to all of those who want to make constructive criticism about the company or KSP.

Soon you will hear great news about KSP that will make the team proud of their efforts.

Stay tuned!

Yeah, they're weekly pay would barely buy a six-pack but we're a family not a company. Besides, we have some exciting news (about our future movie and soundtrack) coming up!
MM - Have you heard of Kerbal Space Program? by WITTGENSTEIN 03/29/2013, 8:27pm PDT NEW
    Demo here by WITTGENSTEIN 03/29/2013, 8:32pm PDT NEW
        Honestly I don't follow the indie scene anymore. by Mischief Shai-hulud 03/30/2013, 7:23am PDT NEW
            On my first rocket the SRB's collided with my third stage and blew up on the pad by WITTGENSTEIN 03/30/2013, 8:32am PDT NEW
                It's brilliant! by Gutsby 03/31/2013, 10:52am PDT NEW
            Re: Honestly I don't follow the indie scene anymore. by Matthew Holland 03/31/2013, 4:05pm PDT NEW
    They're talking about a paid expansion for their alpha game with "free updates" by skip 04/10/2013, 7:42am PDT NEW
        Yeah, that was my reaction too. by WITTGENSTEIN 04/10/2013, 3:16pm PDT NEW
        This company is run by cheap bastards by skip 05/08/2016, 1:53pm PDT NEW
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