As if it was something straight out of It’s a Wonderful Life, Red 5 Studios has failed to meet their payroll payouts on Christmas Day this year, and to complete the analogy a Blizzard employee – Cher Stewart – has started up a crowdfunding campaign to help raise the money that the company needs to pay them.
Information on Red 5 Studios failing to meet payroll on Christmas Day spread quickly on the Firefall subreddit yesterday when a user by the name of TerribadJones posted the following:
“According to Facebook posts, Red 5 Studios failed to meet payroll on no less than Christmas Day, Dec. 25th.
This comes after a second wave of layoffs in December of around 10 people, adding to the 40 already let go. This represents a a 40% reduction in total staff. Although one wonders how many will return to work on Monday without pay.
Employees were not informed of the impending failure to pay checks on Christmas. Instead, they were left to wonder why nothing arrived in their bank accounts or mail. Only when they contacted Red 5 did they finally get a message that Red 5 could not meet payroll and was working on options.”
-TerribadJones via Reddit
Many in the comments section of the Reddit thread have begun to speculate that this might mean the end of Red 5 Studios as a whole. As TerribadJones has already made clear: almost half of the staff at Red 5 Studios has already been laid off, and now without pay it seems that there would be little reason for anyone to return to work today. Considering that employees would be the last order of business to pay, this might very well be true.
While Reddit posts are hardly evidence of there being a true finance issue at Red 5 Studios, this Twitter post has all but confirmed the situation is truly dire.
ATTENTION! Our Red5 Studio friends did not get paid on Christmas. Help me raise the money to get them all paid: https://t.co/drv4ugb13h
— Cher Stewart (@cherlequin) December 27, 2015
Cher Stewart – a software engineer at Blizzard Entertainment – has started a crowdfunding campaign to meet the funds required to fill the payroll. According to the GoFundMe site, $100,000 will be required to fill the void. However, as of the time of this article’s completion only $80 have been raised. Cher has also made it clear that she does not speak on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment, but has done so out of personal ties to her “friends” at Red 5 Studios.
If you would like to contribute toward the crowdfunding campaign you can do so here.