Extra Credits (now at PATV!)

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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby thatlaurachick » 10 Aug 2011, 09:52

Oh, ok. Here's a contract where I say I'll pay you.

Now Im not going to pay you. Maybe sometime later.

Sucks to be you.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Ottoman » 10 Aug 2011, 09:58

MaximusXIII wrote:Can anyone provide a link to EC's new youtube channel?
It's 'ExtraCreditz'.
auberginequeen wrote:I think the hostile edge in James' responses are painting him in a negative light as well, and that his forwardness and apparent insistence that The Internet know all of the details every step of the way aren't helping him or EC.
Even if that first part were true, does it matter? So, he's sacrificing his own reputation (if you believe that) to make the E look far, far worse. In short, doing more damage to them than the situation could ever do to him. How is that a bad thing?

And as for 'The Internet' knowing all the details, how would this be better behind closed doors? Do you disagree with the motives behind WikiLeaks, too?
auberginequeen wrote:The issue is really between EC and the Escapist, not everyone and the Escapist.
Again, even if that were true, say, six months ago (even though it clearly wasn't, since others were being screwed over, too), it certainly involves everyone now. And again, how is that a bad thing? The more people are involved, the uglier it gets for the E relative to each individual on the other side.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby sleepingzombieXD » 10 Aug 2011, 10:10

I think this post by Makon- on the escapist thrad summs up and explains my view perfectly.

"I just want to point out and highlight my thoughts and views on this affair, as messed up as it is. I came here to the Escapist because I heard about this one crazy game reviewer that talked stupidly fast and used a lot of tit and dick jokes, and I wanted a laugh. From there, I watched some of the other shows, though it took awhile for me to contribute anything to the forums. When Extra Credits came on, I watched their first pilot episode here, and I fell in love with the show. The broke down not only the video game industry as a whole, but also offered a glimpse into creative process as a whole, which to me as an aspiring writing, is something truly that can not have a value great enough assigned to it.

When I heard about Allison's injury, I was in the donation queue on Day 1. I had seen that their target goal, even in the first few hours, had been blown away by a long shot. Even still, I figured it was a good effort, and we had been told that "Any overflow from the donation would go to a good cause, though we would figure it out later.". I still donated anyway, because if something arose and they required more donations to cover extra expenses, I still would have done my part. I also trusted in James and the EC crew to find a suitable and worthy use for any overflow of funds, or else I wouldn't have given him my funds to begin with.

When it was announced that James and the EC crew had decided what to do with the drastic overflow, I read into it well. Any overflow was going to be donated to indie developers of creative and artistic games so they could fund the development of their title, with 50% of profits returning to the developers and the other 50% going back into the pot to fund the next developer and title. I was perfectly happy with that, since it was a goal that would help fuel artistic and creative innovation in a (hopefully) meaningful way. That goal is something that Extra Credits, as a whole, embodies: advancing the artistic and creative paths of the video games industry.

What we, the donators, were told was this. A) Primarily and most importantly, the money we sent would go towards Allison's surgery. From there, B) After 'A', money would be used to bring on guest-artists who could keep the show running while Allison was await/in/recovering from surgery. Then, C) Overflow would be sent into a 'pot' that would go towards a good cause later (See: Non-profit donation drive). Nowhere was it described that money donated would be used to cover The Escapist's costs for donation rewards, or to cover the debts that the Escapist owes any of it's contributing artists or licenses as a whole.

From the Escapist's side of things: The overflow that we contributed to would, in fact, become simply 't-shirt and membership sales' and be a convenient method to pay off their own out-standing debts. If the Escapist couldn't afford to contribute any allotted items such as shirts or memberships towards the non-profit donation due to financial inability, then such items should not have been offered to begin with, and something else should have been found to fill as 'rewards'. That is not to say, however, that donators such as myself would have stopped donating simply due to a lack of prizes to get.

From James' side of things: We donated for Allison, first and foremost, and that has been accomplished: She's had her surgery, her medical costs are being more than covered, and she isn't suffering due to it. The overflow, from there, should properly have gone to an 'Extra Credits'-themed goal. Now, after essentially a year of having never been paid for their work, the Escapist comes back and says "Hey, you know the cost for all those shirts, memberships and such? We want that cut, and more, so we can cover our debts.". When James had tried to collect payment for their work prior to this event, the Escapist had delayed or given him the run around to avoid paying him, thus he hired his business manager/lawyer (Note: Evidently, James and the EC crew are not the only content contributors to receive this treatment) . By national law, ANY worker MUST be compensated for time and effort allocated to covering projects of a 'work' oriented nature. James had only said that they were a lower priority to be paid, NOT that they were to forgo any and all payment for their work. Two totally separate things.

In my honest opinion: James publicly doesn't want any animosity towards the Escapist, he wishes the best of luck to everyone in regards to the situation. Alex from the Escapist, on the other hand, wants overflow funds from a donation drive in which he, nor the Escapist, were named as a contributor from. To top that off, at the very bottom of Alex's statement, he says "We are prepared to defend ourselves against future defamation in a court of law.". To me, it seems rather odd that he is immediately jumping to the solution that things will go to court, where as James says he simply wants to leave this mess behind him. I'm sure that there is at least some SLIGHT truth-bending, at best, by either side; it's the nature of arguments for that to happen, but I honestly think James has a much better position on this scenario than the Escapist (Read: Alex) does, both from an objective standpoint, and as a fan that will follow their show wherever they go.

TL;DR: I think there was miscommunication on both sides, but I think James has much better ground to stand on."
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby ecocd » 10 Aug 2011, 10:17

thatlaurachick wrote:Oh, ok. Here's a contract where I say I'll pay you.

Now Im not going to pay you. Maybe sometime later.

Sucks to be you.

Real world can just go eat a bowl of dicks, sometimes.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Digital Dolphin » 10 Aug 2011, 10:33

Boy am I late to the party (here, not in general... I followed it on Twitter and Facebook).

I'm not going to take sides on the whole Escapist vs EC thing, at least not yet. What I am going to say is possibly worse though.

All the information that is coming to light over this situation is re-enforcing my suspicions that the Escapist Magazine business model is broken. I easily believe that The Escapist doesn't have the money to pay EC, or the other people who receive late or incomplete payments, because I can't see how the site could possibly make enough money on their current model.

I've actually wondered about this a number of times, but since LRR seemed to be happy, I assumed things were well enough, and decided that there must be something I didn't see that was filling in the blanks.

I'm a lot more worried about the root of this problem, than the symptoms that are now being discovered.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby King Kool » 10 Aug 2011, 10:42

This might be completely unrelated, but... the Escapist Magazine Youtube channel has been dumping almost everything they got that's old on there.

In the current context, it's interesting, but I doubt it's actually significant.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Wolfenbarg » 10 Aug 2011, 11:27

Stinkychops wrote:IF ONLY SOMEONE HAD WARNED US THAT THE ESCAPIST WERE A BUNCH OF MONEYFAGS! lol

http://deadhorseinterchange.com/wordpress/?p=546
http://deadhorseinterchange.com/wiki/in ... e_Escapist
http://deadhorseinterchange.com/wiki/in ... neyfaggery

Links unrelated.


Be real. There is a big difference in saying they're a bunch of money grubbing assholes (which is still up in the air) and warning us that their business model was completely rotten and people weren't getting paid. If you guys had said that in the thread dedicated to you, I'd have looked into it more deeply. You guys were mostly on about ads though, which I don't think is too big of a deal. Not everyone can make hit merchandising gold like Pure Pwnage did.


rabidtictac wrote:Some folks are actually posting that "nothing like this has happened before" in the wake of Seattle or Bust, and after about 6-7 people came forward on twitter. So obviously it was, even if it wasn't public.

It sounds like the escapist just isn't profitable anymore (or needs better management), and their solutions to this problem were to not pay their employees and frantically try new shows in the hope something would be a big hit (I understand why they did this, I just don't agree with it).


I think the problem is that they basically have two sides of the company now. Originally they set up shop and were running articles almost exclusively with a few in-house employees that were working desk jobs and were probably shareholders. However, when they started signing on content contributors, they used that as a platform to also run their in-house stuff for better or for worse. If they were just running a big licensing deal, they'd have less shows, but I don't think they'd be doing this badly. Like you said, they seemed to be signing on new shows hoping they'd get another Zero Punctuation or Moviebob so they could pay more staff. It's a bad model. Some people are harping on James for whistle blowing and stirring the hornet's nest, but I'm glad he did. I don't want to keep supporting a company that doesn't pay contributors when I subscribed because of those contributors.

Also, frome Lisa Foiles facebook page:
Lisa Foiles Guess it's not a secret why Top 5 ended anymore, now is it?

She was a pretty big market draw while she was on the site, and she wasn't being paid either.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 10 Aug 2011, 13:35

This whole situation is hideous and unfortunate. It's really a shame that the Big E could not stay afloat with it's business model.

I canceled my subscription to the escapist. Too many of my favorite webseries from them have gone away and it's always for the same reason. I know Axe wasn't to well received here, but if you remember that show stopped because they were not getting paid as well.
I don't think the people that run the Escapist are bad people, I don't like the way the run their business. For a while now (especially from listening to their podcasts) I've been becoming much less of a fan of there's.

I hope there is at least a speedy conclusion for this whole situation, but doubt that will be the case.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby MowDownJoe » 10 Aug 2011, 13:52

And Jim Sterling posts his thoughts. Mostly a "I'm not taking sides on this, as both sides probably screwed up" ordeal, but he does admit he hasn't actually received any money yet for The Jimquisition (though The Escapist has been very consistent with the IOU's). And he wishes the crew the best.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby JackSlack » 10 Aug 2011, 14:09

Yikes. Man, it gets worse and worse, doesn't it?

The thing making me saddest is that The Escapist was doing some good work. They had excellent columns, and really, with the POSSIBLE exception of Destructoid (whom I never liked nearly as much -- they were too blokey for me, and seemed juvenile, although some of their stuff rocks) and Rock Paper Shotgun (who are PC only) nobody is doing what they're doing. And it looks like, AGAIN, we're going to wind up with nothing but IGN/Gamespy/Gamespot. The worst of all the sites... and the most profitable.

Sigh.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 10 Aug 2011, 14:34

You're forgetting Giant Bomb and other Whiskey Media sites. They do a lot of stuff that no other video game or nerd media sites do. Not to mention that they don't focus on internet personalities like the Escapist and so many other sites do.
But that's a bit off topic.
The point is that there are plenty of other options out there and more will come in time.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Duckay » 10 Aug 2011, 14:36

If The Escapist vanishes, something else will move to fill the void. Probably a lot of "something elses".
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby JackSlack » 10 Aug 2011, 14:52

Dave-O_Boy wrote:You're forgetting Giant Bomb


No.

Giant Bomb is a more ethical version of Gamespot. They're better guys, but they're still mired in 'old' games journalism. All I ever get from their reviews is a look at a game as a piece of software, not a piece of art. Granted, not even the Escapist managed the latter consistently, but what we need isn't reviews, etc. It's the columns, the exploration of games and culture, etc. The Escapist has done that better than anyone... but with the destruction of the issues system, perhaps it would be better to say 'did'.

Destructoid gets some of that. Rev Rants were beautiful, exactly what gaming needs. Jim Sterling, by contrast, we can do without. Of course, Rev is now working as a game developer, so he's out.

Who else... N'gai Croal was doing it right, but he's no longer doing it either. Stephen Tortillo? I like him, but I didn't think he was a great voice for it. Tom Chick, definitely, but what's he doing these days after Fidgit ended? (Edit: Answer is here, turns out. That's one for the RSS feed.)

I can't help but see the fight for 'games as art' dying bit by little bit. :(

Also: No, I'm not saying that Escapist dying will be the end of games as art. They're not THAT important. ;) Besides, I think they already were burning that out of themselves.
Last edited by JackSlack on 10 Aug 2011, 15:01, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby thatlaurachick » 10 Aug 2011, 14:52

Who knows. Whatever comes "next" might have forums with people who "get" ENN/Checkpoint...
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby JackSlack » 10 Aug 2011, 15:15

And done. My publishers club membership has been set to 'do not renew'. I'm out.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 10 Aug 2011, 15:17

JackSlack wrote:
Dave-O_Boy wrote:You're forgetting Giant Bomb


No.

Giant Bomb is a more ethical version of Gamespot. They're better guys, but they're still mired in 'old' games journalism. All I ever get from their reviews is a look at a game as a piece of software, not a piece of art. Granted, not even the Escapist managed the latter consistently, but what we need isn't reviews, etc. It's the columns, the exploration of games and culture, etc. The Escapist has done that better than anyone... but with the destruction of the issues system, perhaps it would be better to say 'did'.

Destructoid gets some of that. Rev Rants were beautiful, exactly what gaming needs. Jim Sterling, by contrast, we can do without. Of course, Rev is now working as a game developer, so he's out.

Who else... N'gai Croal was doing it right, but he's no longer doing it either. Stephen Tortillo? I like him, but I didn't think he was a great voice for it. Tom Chick, definitely, but what's he doing these days after Fidgit ended? (Edit: Answer is here, turns out. That's one for the RSS feed.)

I can't help but see the fight for 'games as art' dying bit by little bit. :(

Also: No, I'm not saying that Escapist dying will be the end of games as art. They're not THAT important. ;) Besides, I think they already were burning that out of themselves.

Ah I see what you mean.
You get some of that stuff at Giant Bomb (mostly in interviews with developers), but it's not often. Honestly I don't think it's all that often at the Escapist either outside of Extra Credits.

One thing you could always do is start up your own weblog about the art of our little video based gaming media.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Valliac » 10 Aug 2011, 15:41

JackSlack wrote:And done. My publishers club membership has been set to 'do not renew'. I'm out.


Seconded. Until shit gets put right and things start looking positive, im not putting money into a ship that's trying to fix leaks with bubblegum.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Alja-Markir » 10 Aug 2011, 15:52

My sentiments rest with Extra Credits - they have proven themselves thoughtful, intelligent, insightful people through the very work they produce. In contrast, the Escapist has done nothing to convince me that they are trustworthy, and numerous things to raise doubts against that notion.

That said, I hope this resolves as cleanly as it can at this point. While I don't expect that it actually will, one can at least hope.

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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby semysane » 10 Aug 2011, 16:49

To the people lamenting the lack of decent game news/review/entertainment sites, might I suggest Blistered Thumbs?
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby JackSlack » 10 Aug 2011, 16:53

semysane wrote:To the people lamenting the lack of decent game news/review/entertainment sites, might I suggest Blistered Thumbs?


But I'll give it a shot. My impression of them had always been similar to Destructoid: Serious, but still far too male-centric for my liking. But yes, they should be on my radar more than they are.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby njsykora » 10 Aug 2011, 17:15

My videogame sites are Dtoid, Massively and Eurogamer. I actually deleted Quarter to Three from my bookmarks recently as the game diaries were getting less common and less interesting to me. My main criteria for a videogame site is just simply asking whether the people there clearly love videogames and love what they're doing.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 10 Aug 2011, 17:16

Blister Thumbs has a great review system and a lot of good intent, but they're far too inexperienced and immature. Maybe they'll get there some day.
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby Trymantha » 10 Aug 2011, 17:36

King Kool wrote:This might be completely unrelated, but... the Escapist Magazine Youtube channel has been dumping almost everything they got that's old on there.

In the current context, it's interesting, but I doubt it's actually significant.


embedding form youtube will probably save a lot of server space and maintenance and probably a bit of money as well
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby King Kool » 10 Aug 2011, 18:22

Like I said, I REALLY doubt that's the path they're going. I think it's just "We may as well be on Youtube. People will find us there."
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Re: Breaking: Extra Credits leaves Escapist

Postby empath » 10 Aug 2011, 18:42

"Come for the YouTube vids; stay for the articles! (and adclicks and merch)"

...not that bad a marketing idea to increase viewership. :|
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