Mike Turner removes Interzone Futebol content from Interzone Perth studio

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In the continuing saga of the Interzone debacle, Interzone employees have just released footage of a former Interzone manager attempting to unlawfully retrieve i.p from the Perth game studio containing the Interzone Futebol content and assets that the employees had worked on, the previous 18 months of which were completed without payment.

Last week, Mike Turner flew in from the U.S with the aim of obtaining the Interzone Futebol content and bringing it back home. He attempted to sneak into the offices at night expecting little to no confrontation, however, it seems he was caught red handed by staff.

Between February 10th and February 12th, Employees of Perth-based Interzone Games attempted to prevent a former manager from looting the office of Intellectual Property ahead of an Australian Taxation Office foreclosure of the business.

To this date, no current staff at Interzone have received notification of their termination. It is illegal under Australian Workplace Law to "suspend" employees without pay.

For a longer version of the footage embedded above, please click here...

Mike Turner Confronted by Interzone Employees

Mike Turner Confronted by Interzone Employees from Ring Mod on Vimeo.

On February 10th, 2010, Mike Turner arrived on the Premises of Interzone Pty., Perth. Minutes after he asked the producer in the office to take part in removal of intellectual property from the office (the Producer resigned on the spot), he came in to try and convince Interzone Employees to assist him. They were ready for him, with a camera, and a list of questions pertaining to outstanding payroll, superannuation/pension pay and tax debt, and how he and Marty Brickey / Greg Chadwell intended to resolve these issues.

Comments

Anonymous's picture

There is a reason why they liqidate companies, and then make it illegal to operate liquidated companies.

A gambler always has the chance to win his money back if he just keeps gambling...

So thats why a company like this should stop operating. If they can't afford to operate and pay their debts, they risk going further into the red, burning more money and people along the way. Even if there is a 'chance' they can come good by doing so.

Anonymous's picture

I watched that second video and I need to admit the situation looked very awkward. Admittedly, I'm not privy to what's been happening there over the past 18 months or so apart from the information that's been released, and I understand that the Interzone guys are upset and frustrated. But some of those questions were pretty confronting. I mean the question "On who's authority are you here?" is a pretty damn heavy one to be dropping first up, and one that doesn't seem to be appropriate to ask a director, whether you agree with what he's doing or not. Especially when you are video taping him, it's no wonder he opted not to answer (and did you honestly expect him to?). And what was the point of the second one "what is it you here to do?". You already know why he's here, even if he hasn't told you directly, you already know the answer, and you guys have told everyone already. That question seemed like a bit of a troll.

The accusations near the end of the video that he was lying as well seemed a bit out of place, to which he replied "I haven't said anything yet, how can I be lying?".

Don't get me wrong, I'm not siding with Mike Turner here, I think the whole situation and what he's doing is ludicrous and I'm utterly amazed the company is getting away with it. I really feel for you Interzone guys, having been through a similar situation myself in the past, but this kind of confrontation while capturing it all on camera and posting it online doesn't seem to be the most ideal way to resolve your issues. I do hope things get sorted out soon, I'm just not convinced you guys are approaching this in the right way.

Anonymous's picture

Mike Turner wasn't a director is one issue with your comments. He USED to be a director.

If someone has no morals to shut down business properly when they become insolvent then they should have to deal with confronting questions.

Anonymous's picture

Lol. Yeah, you put those rabble rousers in their place, mate! They should have just stood by and doffed their hats respectfully to that guy, such a fine upstanding gentleman! How rude of them to get angry at all the lies and unpaid wages and dodgy dealings. Shame!

Anonymous's picture

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying they shouldn't be pursuing this and I'm not saying they aren't legitimate questions to be asking. I'm not saying they shouldn't be angry and frustrated. Hell I know I was when a similar thing happened to me. All I'm saying is perhaps they could be approaching this in a different way. It just seems like the way they confronted Mike in that video, complete with the video taping, just created an environment where nothing was going to get achieved.

I hope they keep fighting to get their answers and entitlements.

Anonymous's picture

They did approach this in a different way for a long time prior to this point though. Many of them put up with excuses and lack of payment due to them and continuing working on the game based on the idea that keeping things smooth was the best long term plan.

This is the end game though, once the work they have done is all taken out of the country the company owners have no reason to come back or do further business here, meaning most legal avenues become infinitely harder to pursue, if not completely impossible.

Anonymous's picture

Care to elaborate what they should / could have done differently (other than refusing to work for free in the first place)?

Anonymous's picture

I disagree. The employees have every right to express their anger and put these dodgy bastards on the spot. I hardly think Mike and his cronies are going to respond better if you ask them nicely. If they were reasonable men then we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

I say if the video confrontation achieves nothing but to make Mike's life that little bit more difficult, and also serves as a public warning to others who might be considering doing business with these sleezebags in the future, then it has served its purpose.

And who says the employees are not pursuing other avenues at the same time? The situation is pretty dire and they have got to hit it on all fronts - and that includes direct action.

Anonymous's picture

Second that. It's a perfectly legitimate tactic under the circumstances. Anyway, it's not the employees you should be criticizing. Instead of blaming the victims, how about providing some concrete suggestions of what else they can do to try and recover their unpaid entitlements and possessions?

Anonymous's picture

..and it's that if the company you are working for is delaying your pay, paying you part of your pay or saying anything like there's money coming in, the last milestone payment has been delayed and one of a hundred other excuses then GET OUT!!!!
Yes, get out straight away because each day you continue to work brings you closer to working for free. The more you work and are owed the more you start to summise that if you leave you will never get the money. Truth be told you're not getting the money now so why would you be getting more later?
Even more serious is that companies can hide some stuff more easily than pay. So if it's come down to you not getting paid, or your pay delayed you can be guaranteed that the tax man hasn't been paid and more importantly neither has your superannuation.... and who knows for how long!?!?

The most discouraging part of these types of situations are that many people will be working extra or overtime when this happens for the company to meet milestones, get the game into submission and so on. The burden of getting short-term cashflow into the company is often put on the employees. This is ludicrous! Even if the team failed to deliver it is the company that has put the team in place, the company agreeing to milestones and contractual obligations, the company running the project etc.

Even more discouraging is that we in the industry usually care so much about our game, even if we know it's not AAA that we actually want to see it through. So, we often make it easy for the companies to do this to us.

Best of luck to everyone who's been through this and to the Interzone guys. Protect yourself from now on and get out early at the first sign of trouble!

Anonymous's picture

so I expect if you are a few days late on your tasks you should expect to get shown the door immidiately then as you have potentially caused people to be paid late, including yourself?

One thing the Krome and others here in Australia have done is carry staff during periods where there is not enough work - like right now, just have a close look at the numbers of projects compared to the number of staff - no one goes into business to lose money or not pay staff - there are no simple answers and all companies are different.

The industry, globally, is broken :(

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, there are companies in our industry that have fallen behind pay RIGHT NOW.

Its up to each individual to decide what to do. Some companies will keep staff hired that they don't need in order to ride out a difficult patch, just as some workers will work for no money in order to help the company ride out the same difficult patch.

Right now there are companies paying staff the don't need, and there are staff working for companies that can't pay.

However, having said that, there is no right or wrong way to handle the sitauation. My advice to workers is distant and probably useless, but they need to evaluate their situation - do they realistically expect the company to pull through, and do they realistically expect their contributions can help. If the answer is no to eithe rof those questions, then they have to face the possibility that they are only delaying the inevitable.

People who work in this industry have a lot of passion, drive and a general feeliing of solidarity, probably formed because as employees in this industry, we all know people who have shared tough times that bond us. And that can pull a company through.

You won't get that impression from the pathetic bitchy sniping on this website... but thats probably because people who do this aren't wanted anywhere and have plenty of time to do it.

But back on topic, I don't think there is a right or wrong way to handle a situation like this.