The Hammer Comes Down On Catalyst Games

Catalyst Games (Shadowrun, Battletech), which has been dealing poorly with its big internal embezzlement scandal, just got served!  Not in the urban dance contest sense, but in the legal sense.

WildFire, the people who write CthulhuTech and were trying to use Catalyst as a publisher/distributor, and some other folks (two freelancers, we think), have apparently gotten sick of getting stiffed and have filed a Chapter 7 request with the US Bankruptcy Court against InMediaRes (aka Catalyst aka Holostreets aka BattleCorps).  This is a new one on me – it’s basically filing bankruptcy on someone else’s behalf and saying “give me my damn money, or you’ll get declared bankrupt and your organs will be sold to pay me!”

See the filing docs – DOC 1 DOC 2

Various lawyery speculation says that as Chapter 7 requests are pretty easily defeated by anyone with a pulse, it’s unusual to do this unless you have a real strong case and/or you think they’re going down the drain and you want to get in line first to get your money before they shuffle it off to random personal slush funds.

Catalyst has responded with the predictable “What!  Baseless!  All will be well!

Standard posturing.  The sad thing is that when it all is settled, probably despite Catalyst collapsing, the primary culprit will still be living large in the big ol’ house paid for with his ill-gotten gains.  Hooray, deregulation!

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6 responses to “The Hammer Comes Down On Catalyst Games

  1. I was thinking the same thing – this is a move to freeze the remaining assets so someone doesn’t go on a final spending spree.

    Also, so folks will get paid for work already done.

    Just makes me sad to think it will be a long time before I see Interstellar Ops in a hardback. If ever.

  2. Wow, I guess you were right. Without actually admitting they were stiffing folks all along, they are suddenly very concerned and busy paying freelancers. As if none of us can read between the lines and see what that implied CGL was *not doing* all along.

    Like, paying their freelance writers. And their former associates.

    Baseless? I guess we will see. Renegotiate the licenses? With what funds? If folks figure CGL has the funds for renewing the license, they probably figure if CGL doesn’t get the licenses, paying their existing creditors with the leftovers before they vanish is *not* at the top of the list.

  3. GeneralMcClellan

    the problem for the filers is that if IMR (not CGL) has more than 12 creditors (and if we’re including freelancers, then yes it does), then at least three of those creditors have to be involved in the filing. Unless other people jump onboard, all CGL has to do to get the case dismissed is sort out the debts with one of the filing parties. It’s strange tactic honestly, unless there’s others waiting in the wings.

    btw, Mr Stansel (not a freelancer) likely loaned IMR the money at the start (or near enough) due to the fact that David Stansel-Garner was an employee. It makes sense that he’d try and recover the loan amount now DSG is no longer at IMR. (I mean you care less about the loan being paid back when you have a vested interest in the company surviving)

    the one thing this doesn’t do is help the freelancers waiting to be paid. If they’re forcing involuntary bankruptcy, there’s nothing to stop the company going chapter 11, and the freelancers get shafted.

    and mxyplk – there’s been no mention by anyone other than Frank that Coleman’s house is paid for with “ill gotten” gains, in fact, two co-owners have basically said that it wasn’t on the dumpshock forum thread. (Ken Horner and Phil de Luca) Or at least alluded to the fact.

    @Centurion13 – the fact that Topps has requested an iconography and legal text change makes me think they’re more than willing to let CGL renew the license. I mean it only affects future products, and if there’s no license in a month, why bother? So there’s a good chance you’ll see your IO book at some point. That said, the original TW had FanPro marking, so a company change isn’t a huge deal really.

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  6. I take that an involuntary bankruptcy petition was filed. Does anyone know the district that it was filed in? What of the outcome? If any?

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