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You may have read about the holiday scandal that has been plaguing Red 5 Studios. Unfortunately for Red 5 employees, things aren’t really getting any better, with no official promises for an end to all of the controversy.
On Christmas Day last week, Red 5 employees, like many other employees in the country, were expecting a Christmas paycheck since Christmas fell on a Friday this year. Red 5 Studios made news when an employee posted an email that Red 5 had sent them on Christmas day explaining that, unfortunately, they wouldn’t be paid, and that Red 5 was doing all they could to fix the problem. Another user on Reddit backed the claim, saying:
So, yeah, I'm a Red 5 employee. The rumors are true, I did not get paid on the 25th when payroll was supposed to go through. Morale at the studio has been s--- for about the past year, went up with the hiring of Chris Whiteside and the promise of an awesome China launch, but then went to s--- again after the launch failed and Chris was let go, along with 20% of the studio. I no longer have any faith in a company I once loved. I can provide proof if needed to mods, assuming my identity is kept secret.
The internet erupted with the news on Facebook, Reddit and Twitter and on almost every video game news site on the internet. Red 5 was also reportedly laying people off in December right before the no-pay holiday. The gaming community has swooped in with their support and caring messages.
According to Game Informer as of this morning, employees could not be paid on Christmas due to potential investments that fell through and that Red 5 would try to pay employees on December 30. But there was also talk of possibly starting a monthly pay cycle, which, if you have bills all month long like everyone else, is difficult.
The same Reddit user who posted the initial claim about not getting their paycheck returned to the same Reddit thread to comment on the situation.
So we will be paid via direct deposit on the 30th. That's been promised. They started the meeting by claiming that they'll be taking legal action against anyone that posted the "we have no money" email on social media. Nice to know they have money for that. They also stated that they might switch to monthly paychecks, so we don't know when the next paycheck actually is. They said a bunch of crap about how we all need to pull together as a team and make the relaunch a big success! And that's going to also determine the future of the company. Being in the office today is unbearable. I can't stand it.
It’s hard to really understand what the employees of Red 5 are going through unless you’ve gone through it yourself. Cher Stewart, an employee of Blizzard, had started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the Red 5 employees so they could be paid for Christmas. Since that campaign launched a couple days ago, they’ve raised $557, a long ways away from the $100,000 goal.
As support continues to pour in from all over the internet, the situation with Red 5 Studios continues to be scrutinized from every corner of the video game industry. You can read the initial story on the ordeal here.