TROUBLE AT STRATICS [Author: Lum the Mad]

We’re getting word that Stratics is laying off most of their paid labor and asking them to work for free due to a “renegotiation in their contract” with UGO – probably, like other sites, being forced to accept a profit sharing arrangement (with UGO’s usual profit of, um, nothing) in lieu of assured CPM ad banner revenue. Here’s some excerpts from a letter purportedly sent out by Ryan “Den” Findley, Stratics’ owner, to the now volunteer personnel.

Stratics has a bright future and, in order to see it continue to shine strongly, this decision has become an unfortunate necessity. Your most recent payment will be sent out as soon as is possible, but due to UGO’s change in terms with us, we must no longer retain your contractor status. As for UGO, we’re taking steps to resolve that situation.

Please note that Stratics is in absolutely no danger of going offline.

I sincerely hope that you decide to stay on with your role at Stratics. I know that I cannot rightfully make any requests of you in this regard, but I hope that the joy and fulfillment that inspired you to first put your effort into Stratics continues to this day. I understand if you decide to leave your position, but hope sincerely that you stay on with us.

We will make every conceivable effort to bring Stratics back into a financial position of being able to pay our upper-level volunteer staff once again. Right now, however, it is necessary to bring the network back to a volunteer-oriented state. The payments we have been able to provide have been, above anything, a bonus due to the financial success we’d been having and will have again at some point within the next few months. The primary motivation behind your efforts for Stratics, I hope, has always been a love for massively-multiplayer gaming and a desire to figure prominently within our community.

Well, now it’s a volunteer network again, looks like. Word is that XRGaming isn’t doing much better, and all their former paid employees, um, aren’t. We’re being told that all the upper management of XRGaming is being told that they’ll be paid what they’re owed – once they give up their ownership stake in the company.

Time for hardball all around, looks like. Lots of happy puppies getting ready for E3!