Red 5 Studios Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Red 5 Studios RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Red 5 Studios fails to meet payroll on Christmas Day, Blizzard employee now trying to save Christmas Mon, 28 Dec 2015 06:30:01 -0500 David Fisher

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.

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.

Red 5 Studios, In Charge of Firefall, Has Laid Off Workers Mon, 23 Sep 2013 00:04:02 -0400 Mary Yeager

News out of Red 5 Studios via a press release has stated that Red 5 is being reorganized. Red 5 Studios wants to "focus on streamlined operations and live product support," according to CEO of Red 5 Studios, Mark Kern. What will this entail? Part of this reorganization will include layoffs.

The press release goes on to state that the layoffs will amount to about 10 percent of their workforce. Stage 5 TV will see the brunt of these layoffs. Stage 5 TV is Red 5's internet entertainment channel. They do not anticipate these layoffs affecting the development and formal launch of its title, Firefall.

About Firefall

Firefall is a sci-fi shooter being developed by former Team Lead of World of Warcraft, Mark Kern, and Scott Youngblood. It is an open sandbox game set in a multiplayer world. It is a war simulation between players and an NPC army known as the Chosen. The game features gunplay and other abilities to allow the players to defeat the enemy.

Red 5 Studio's FireFall Enters Open Beta: A New Day, A New Complaint Tue, 09 Jul 2013 23:08:48 -0400 Stephanie Tang

“I think the last thing they need is more people clogging up this game right now...”

Things are happening over at Red 5 Studios. Their flagship game, FireFall, which has been in closed beta for ages, enters open beta today!

As a celebration of finally making it to open beta, FireFall is holding another FireFall Fest. Over the course of two days (July 9-10), the FireFall crew is going to have four streams running on Twitch with “some of your favorite online celebrities!” During each show, the celebs will have an opportunity to play through the game and also talk to the devs about the game.

Furthermore, the community team will be giving away AMD and Razer gear, as well as some unreleased in-game items available on July 9. Players who log in during FireFall Fest will also receive a special Open Beta warpaint.

What is this game?

Heralded as the game for Global Agenda orphans due to their very similar class styles and use of jetpacks in combat, FireFall is a massive multiplayer online team-based game attempting to merge the MMORPG and MMOFPS genres into one, picking up the slack when GA started dying off. They have been going full steam ahead ever since, taking into serious account the massive amount of community feedback to constantly improve class balance and good gameplay.

Set 200 years in the future, the game is an oddball mix of the usual glowy sci-fi technology and survival story against alien monsters with the traditional exotica of a Brazillian landscape. Tikki masks, warpaint, and in-game currency called the Red Bean help round out the uniqueness of having so much real life in so sci-fi a game.

FireFall’s class system, called Battleframes, are broken down into five distinct builds (although they retain the option of unlocking ten advanced Battleframes). Fans of Hi-Rez Studio’s Global Agenda originally took so kindly to this game because of these class similarities to the now essentially dead spy-fi. Players can choose between:

  • The Assault, a balance in offensive and defensive fighting with different types of plasma cannons;
  • The Dreadnaught, possessing unrivaled defenses and large, powerful, if slow, miniguns;
  • The Recon, a medium- to long-range combat support capable of resupplying teammates and sniping;
  • The Biotech, capable of healing and reviving teammates and engaging in offensive chemical warfare; and
  • The Engineer, provider of battlefield support with resupply capabilities, gun turrets, and energy barriers.

While the ability to both fly and run while shooting, healing, and setting up turrets is not a new one, it is still relatively unique in the field of MMOFPS gameplay, and the resulting gameplay is both fascinating to watch and incredibly intuitive once you realize you can move up as well as left, right, and forward.

But how are they handling open beta?

In spite of an exceptionally long closed beta period (where they gave away beta keys like candy), FireFall has not managed to enter its open beta stage without its fair share of hiccups and player frustrations.

In the first case, Red 5 Studios initially released Founders’ Packs for longtime closed beta players looking for extra perks. They were available for a limited amount of time, and were discounted briefly during PAX, allowing players to choose between three different tiers. The last day to purchase one of these Founders’ Packs was on July 8, ending with the close of closed beta.

(prices shown reflect PAX 25% off discount)

Today, players were shocked to see new Starter Packs available for purchase for $20 and $100 denominations featuring perks that are at once both better and worse than those available in the Founders’ Packs. While this may not be such a big deal for those players who sprang for the original $20 option, those who paid $100 have not been happy to see stuff they want costing them another $100 in a free to play game that hasn’t even made it to official release yet.

On top of that, things in game have not been running smoothly. Players signing in yesterday and today have been plagued with a number of game-breaking glitches, including:

  • 7-8 minute loading screens, even for those players who are well above minimum requirements;
  • Login issues, where some users are unable to log into the game;
  • Chat issues, where the chat servers went down, affecting players’ ability to chat, squad up, and access their friends list;
  • Issues with Crafting, Inventory, SIN Synching issues, and “Error 500” messages continuing to pop up;
  • Battleframe Garages and SIN network issues, which meant new players are unable to complete the tutorial stage; and 
  • Issues where players simply fall through the map.

The Red 5 team is well aware of many of these issues, and have been scrambling ever since to fix them (with some modicum of success, as of 4:00PDT many of the login issues appear to have been resolved), but remain puzzled by many of the remaining issues. Chances are, it’ll be some time before a lot of these issues get fixed.

Growing pains. Every game has ‘em. The secret is in how the studio reacts to them, and keeping open lines of communication seem to be the best form of damage control so far. It all remains to be seen.

Now, about those Founders’ Pack perks...

I have a vested interest in this, Red 5. I'll have you know I paid good money for my cat ears.

GameSkinny Exclusive: Lead Designer of FireFall Scott Youngblood Wed, 27 Mar 2013 17:27:13 -0400 Rothalack

Scott Youngblood gives us more details on the recent changes to FireFall.  They are in a closed beta now taking in all they can from their players on how to improve their game.

Interview by Mark Taylor (AKA Lord Hammer from Guild UMBRA)
Filmed and Edited by Brian Schaaf (AKA Rothalack from GameSkinny)