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Krome Studios to close doors on Monday, contractors will continue work

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/11/10 - 11:31 AM Permalink

so, RW, how can you be in liquidation (two companies) because you couldn't pay your employees entitlements, yet still have 40+ people working for YOU? You can't have it both ways.

How is it ASIC haven't started investigating you?

*makes phone call*

or maybe they already have.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/11/10 - 1:50 PM Permalink

http://www2.search.asic.gov.au/cgi-bin/gns030c?acn=091_041_146&juris=9&…

Name FORTITUDE DEVELOPMENT PTY LTD
Status ** UNDER EXTERNAL ADMINISTRATION and/or CONTROLLER APPOINTED **

Apparently (on the Geers website http://www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelations/Programs/EmployeeEntitlement…) you are not entitled to Geers if "your former employer is under the control of an administrator, a receiver manager, or is subject to a Deed of Company Arrangement, a Trust, a Personal Insolvency Agreement, or a Debt Agreement"

Fingers crossed this doesn't mean that Krome is under the control of an administrator as that would mean ex-employees are not entitled to Geers support.

If anyone has actual information or a better understanding please provide it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 19/11/10 - 6:14 PM Permalink

not sure but someone (we all know who) should get residency in the states any day now.
wonder how much of ex-employee entitlements will be spent on the wedding and honeymoon?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/11/10 - 1:51 PM Permalink

The whole point of a PTY LTD company is that the company directors are not personally liable for company debts.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/11/10 - 2:20 PM Permalink

PTY LTD just means that it is a privately owned company with less than 50 shareholders. The opposite of PTY LTD is a public listed company. In both cases company directors are not liable for company debt.

The only time someone is personally liable for bad debts is when they are a sole trader but thats usually in a situation where they are the only employee.

Unless the company was trading while insolvent for considerable amount of time, the directors can be sued. But it's unlikely in this situation, company needs to be racking up debts for months.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/11/10 - 5:09 PM Permalink

The LTD part in PTY LTD means just that - that shareholder liability is limited, there are other forms of companies, although they're not as common.

I assume that you mean the directors can't be sued unless they've been trading insolvent for some time. ;-)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/11/10 - 9:30 PM Permalink

no point in suing Skase Walsh since he's now got his green card married to a US citizen living in exile in sunny Spain dreary Seattle.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/11/10 - 10:20 AM Permalink

No point in suing Walsh as Krome was never running insolvent - they have always paid their debts as they fell due, and when they got to the stage where that was no longer possible they liquidated the company, as they should.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/11/10 - 11:52 AM Permalink

Technically you may be correct.
I myself prefer the interpretation that, in all but name, Krome is still limping along.

You seem to want to paint Robbie as some altruistic Victorian mill owner type..which is laughable.

In reality they liquidated the company to scratch any remaining debt/financial liability (redundancy payouts etc.), then transferred to another business set up for just such an eventuality.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/11/10 - 7:05 PM Permalink

I don't want to paint anybody as anything. I'm just pointing out that as far as I can tell he hasn't done anything illegal.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 24/11/10 - 9:46 AM Permalink

not illegal, just immoral, unpleasant. making off with the entitlements after all the crap you had to deal with if you had to deal with him personally.

the guy has been dead inside for a year or more.
hope your ulcers don't give you any more grief, RW.
Did they remove all of your guts during your hospital visit mid year?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 24/11/10 - 10:30 PM Permalink

i don't know many former employees of Robert Walsh who aren't bitter. He was an utterly horrid person to work for.

Of course I am fucking bitter.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/11/10 - 10:32 AM Permalink

Dude, no job is worth that much vitriol. You should have walked as soon as you realised it wasn't for you.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/11/10 - 1:24 PM Permalink

yes, you're right, Robert. Krome wasn't work shit then and certainly isn't now. Hope everything works out for you and the missus. Congratulations. I hope you both have a very very very very long life together.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 24/11/10 - 12:54 PM Permalink

Of course though - The point is he was always too canny to be caught doing something illegal.

I believe the govt are looking at this company 'pheonixing' practice and may take measures to curtail it..though if anything happens it'll be retrospective and moot in this case.
Regardless i think the behaviour exhibited by our man Rob is worth far more than a mere shrug, don't you? Or are you of the 'it doesn't affect me, so i don't care' persuasion? At the very least he'll be set up to do this all again, albeit possibly overseas. Which is rather worrying.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 24/11/10 - 3:47 PM Permalink

We should remember that this behaviour has an impact on all of us.

Politicians, aren't idiots. (when their jobs are on the line) So long as this type of behaviour is tolerated in the industry, we will continue to see government backing decline.

Come the election, no one likes to have to admit they've given millions to a company that disappeared. Then gave more money to a "new" company that "appeared", doing the same project, employing the same staff, only as "sham contractors", without any rights.....

We should have a zero tolerance for these companies who are effectively "peeing in our pool".

So GDAA, rather than acting as a travel agency for your members and mates to go to GDC.... How about making some sort of stand on one of the most significant barriers to the success of our industry? Namely the appalling behaviour of some of your members.

If you aren't part of the solution you may very well be part of the problem.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/11/10 - 5:36 AM Permalink

and what would you have the GDAA do exactly? They have no power, indeed, you as an individual have more rights than the not-for-profit that is the GDAA - why don't you do something!! (other than whinge here...) You can petition a court if you think there is criminal action, you can petition ASIC if you beleive he has contravened the companies act.

Fact is, while perhaps immoral, he hasn't done anything illegal so as below, if ASIC fail, Government fail, then how could the GDAA succeed in any action without any power or right to do so?

Asking the GDAA act against someone operating legally is a slippery slope. Who decides what is acceptable behaviour?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/11/10 - 2:55 PM Permalink

Code of conduct promised 11 years ago and still nothing.

Suspend or expel members who act against the code.

It's totally possible for the gdaa to do this but it might make their members a bit nervous.

AIMIA (australian interactive media industries association ) have one which would work pretty well. (worth reading)

http://www.aimia.com.au/home/business-resources/codes---guidelines/indu…

Perhaps we should all ditch the gdaa and join aimia instead.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/11/10 - 7:45 PM Permalink

AIMIA do not represent the majority of game developers in Australia. The industries which they do cover are closely allied to games in many ways.
In these troubled times we all look for leadership, and the GDAA are uniquely placed to fill this role. They have the skills, experience and contacts.
Maybe they have been doing this quietly behind the scenes.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 26/11/10 - 1:38 AM Permalink

And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream
of what I need

[Chorus]

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/11/10 - 6:31 PM Permalink

For goodness sake calm down. Getting personal and insulting is not constructive.

There have been many members who have behaved in a similar way, or other ways which have brought the whole Australian industry into disrepute.

Having an industry code of conduct could be part of a solution. It's only a suggestion sure, but it's not unreasonable.

I am sure that you are aware that there are companies planning to "Phoenix " in the near future. (members of the gdaa)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/11/10 - 1:36 PM Permalink

every time they did a redundancy, they always had done a calculation of how much they'd need to have to wind up the company and pay everyone out.
what went wrong this time, then RW? Banking errors? Really?

I think the punishment should fit the crime. But then i remember who you just married, RW. That's punishment enough.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/11/10 - 2:09 PM Permalink

I wouldn't cry too much over lost revenue to GEERS, think of it this way, if you consider all of the income tax that the government has reaped over ten years from 200+ employees, plus the company tax that krome has paid over the years (all from purely export dollars), plus the fact that GEERS is a senior creditor, so will get the first money from the liquidation, I would say that the federal govt has made a very tidy profit from the whole deal, Geers or no geers.

While attendees enjoy the second and final day of the Game Connect: Asia Pacific conference held on the Gold Coast which aims to inspire local developers in these tough times, news is flooding out that just nearby, a major Brisbane based studio is on the verge of collapse.

More troubling and credible reports concerning Krome Studios are currently spilling onto Twitter as well as into our comments areas, and if these new details along with the additional reports received yesterday relating to the Emergent agreement are true, then there is considerable cause for concern for what was once Australia's largest game development studio.

The rumours began with more drastic job cuts today (confirmed to be hitting both the remaining Melbourne and Brisbane studio), but it seems to be a lot more serious for the company than that.

The current report is that Krome Studios have let go of all remaining staff, including those in their base studio in Brisbane, and will be closing their doors on Monday. Some staff will be rehired as contractors to finish some remaining work.

The latest developments at Krome Studios ends a tumultuous twelve month period for the company which had started to dwindle down as the global financial crisis hit after having just reached a milestone of 400 employees.

Beginning with the axing of 60 employees in November 2009, the company shed an additional 50 employees in April this year. Four months later in August, an undisclosed but estimated 100+ employees were further let go from Krome, marking the end for the Adelaide branch of Krome Studios.

While admirable attempts to save Krome Studios Adelaide proved unsuccessful, the closure of the both the Adelaide and Melbourne arms of Krome Studios will mark the final end for the Ratbag Games and Melbourne House legacy. Krome Studios acquired the iconic 80's games developer, Melbourne House, in late 2006 from previous owner, Atari, while a studio was opened in Adelaide by Krome to accomodate the remaining Ratbag Games staff who were left unemployed after Midway closed down the Powerslide developer in late 2005.