You’ll Never Work in This Town Again!

So, about 4 years back, I was a “whistle-blower”, apparently.

An RPG publisher, which no longer exists, but whose staff has gone on to be the core RPG team of several other companies (producing major licensed works), hadn’t paid me for a book which was already on the shelves. I mentioned this in a thread on RPGFreelance, a list that I had started for freelancers to generally help each other out and share notes and the like. To my surprise, a fairly large number of other freelancers echoed my experience with this publisher. Seems they weren’t getting paid, either. Lots. Artists, writers…just the people stepping forward on the list were owed tens of thousands of dollars.

Someone forwarded these messages to the publisher in question. The result of this was that I eventually got paid (you’d be surprised how quick the checkbook comes out when the phrase “class-action lawsuit” is uttered), but, evidently, with the edict within the company that I’d “never work for them again in any form”–which has held true, in every incarnation of the company to date.

So, some chucklehead has decided to stir the shit-pot again, 4 years after the fact, on an RPG industry mailing list. We get to have the same old discussions all over again–“You were attempting to organize a boycott, and get people to stop working for us.” “You weren’t paying for the work that was making you money, you ethically-stunted halfwit.”

Ah, joy.

The best part of this? Even with the shiny licenses, I haven’t ever WANTED to work for the people who screwed me and so many other freelancers once already. They don’t seem to get that. It doesn’t matter who bought them out, who hired them en-masse…you can change your name, but you don’t change your stripes.

Nice to finally get public confirmation of the fact that I was blacklisted, though. The genius who revealed this fact in a public forum probably gave zero thought to the possible impact on their image within the industry. Watching people line up to tell him that their practices were ethically bankrupt warms the cockles of my black little heart.