pixietalksgamergate

PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

TFYC, Their Relationship with Autobotika + Charity Proportions

on September 16, 2014

A few days ago I received an email from an anonymous person who had some questions regarding TFYC – especially about transparency, who noted it was interesting these points hadn’t come up in the #GamerGate discussion.

With that in mind, I’ll share the major points they made – and I’ve emailed TFYC for their answers on four questions about this. The questions asked were:

1. When did Matthew become an executive producer at Autobotika and what does that role involve?
2. What is the relationship between TFYC and Autobotkia?
3. If there is a direct financial link between the two, has this been shown openly or has it been obfuscated?
4.What portion of the proceeds actually go to charity? The Indiegogo page says all, but the breakdown says 74%. Are you aware that this may actually break Indiegogo’s terms of service?
You can find their answers in a twitlonger here (archive), and a couple of tweets clarify points raised by the anon here:
tfyc6
There’s also full text of that + a few extra bits down at the bottom of this post.
NEW ADDITIONS:
http://thefineyoungcapitalists.tumblr.com/post/98025737145/on-boring-conspiracies (archive)
https://twitter.com/Autobotika/status/513891887070343168 (archive)
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The Relationship Between TFYC and Autobotika
(written by an anon source, hosted by me)

TFYC and the company they are ostensibly hiring to work on their created game, Autobotika, seem to be the same people. This suggests an employee of Autobotika may have set up TFYC in order to create business for his company, under the guise of helping women get into the industry.

In terms of proof you can look here (archive in case of removal) to see a testimonial that Rappard gave to the legal company that helped him set up the business. He also mentions explicitly being TFYCs bondsman (meaning he has a financial stake in this) in a number of posts on their page and tumblr, one of which is here (archive).

tfyc3While both here (archive) and here (archive) it is mentioned that while TFYC are aware of Autobotika, and have worked with them before, there is no mention of a direct link other than they are paying them and that they have worked on a project with them before in some capacity.

tfyc4

There is also a direct article with one of Autobotika’s female devs here (archive) where she specifically states that they are a separate legal entity and goes onto say she has no idea how they (TFYC) were established. Plus she states that she met him (Matt) at a Toronto design studio. She does not, however, mention that they work at the same company, despite this being clear – see here (archive) and here (archive) on their very own site. He is an executive producer, and has worked there since 2013.

Also once the game is complete any profits (AFTER ROYALTIES – which could mean further money going to TFYC/Autobotika) will be split four ways, as per their site, see here (archive). Only they aren’t – as 8% goes to TFYC and 10% to Autobotika, if they are the same people – this would be they get 18% total, while the games designer (for whom this section is the only payday) gets 8%.  Nowhere does it mention that TFYC and Autobotika are one and the same, or at least share a key member of staff (as they are not very open about stating AHO works for TFYC), which is amazingly disingenuous. It is indisputable that Matthew Rappard is working for both companies – and seems particularly odd that he would deliberately obscure his current employer on his linkedin page here (archive).

tfyc5

Not to mention we have very little idea of who, other than Matthew Rappard, makes up the rest of TFYC staff. So for a company that is being championed by a cause that backs openness, clarity and ethics there are a large number of direct conflicts of interest when it comes to the behaviour and honesty of TFYC.

How much goes to charity?

It’s worth mentioning that a lot of gamergate users proudly announced that they had specially helped out a charity by helping TFYC, such as:
tfyc1 When that is quite clearly NOT the case. Any money that is donated to the indiegogo fund will go directly to Autobotika, and by proxy Matt himself, and they do at least clarify that statement for themselves here (archive). So all of those people who have signed up to the campaign under the impression they are giving directly to charity are ill informed (through NO fault of TFYC admittedly) as only a portion of money from any profit will go to charity. As seen here (archive). Though they also state that even if they exceed their indiegogo target the money is not guaranteed to go to charity and may well go to Autobotika, see here (archive).

Though on the bent, even their indiegogo page is misleading. As they specifically state, in the second paragraph, that they will give ALL proceeds to charity. See here (+archived here). So anyone stumbling onto that page would think any and all profit would go to charity, as that is quite clearly what they have said even though it is not the case.


From TFYC:

Answers:
1. – 3.) Autobotika is in Colombia. They work with the Western countries including the USA. Autobotika did a campaign where the employer refused to pay. He assumed that they would be unable to file legal action due to cost involved in an International Lawsuit. The unpaid costs were equal to the labour of about 3-4 people months salary. This a very common form of oppression against a disadvantaged group.

This happened when Matt was working with them on a production called Thanatos. Matt asked that they add his name to the site, he then called the company and threatened them will legal action, explaining that this was a large enough deal that he would hire a lawyer. The bill was paid with in 7 [changed from 3 due to updated info from TFYC] business days. Matt’s name has remained in case he has to do that again.

Matt owns no stock in Autobotika, Matt has never recieved any payment from Autobotika, Matt is not an employee, he did that action on his own to help a country in a developing country. TFYC was a means to raisee money for them to let them have a foothold in the market. Any call that someone makes to Matt regarding Autobotika is immediately forwarded to Autobotika, he is their White Guy in a suite.

4.) None of the Indiegogo money goes it charity, it goes to make the game, the games profits then go to charity. Indiegogo has had no problem with that in our discussions, and we are not listed as a not for profit for the reason. We were never a not for profit, that was the point. This was about investing in a woman’s idea because you thought it would make money, your profits just went to charity. If someone comes up with a solution so people can get their profits back that is clean and easy way we would have done that. Charity seemed the best solution for 5 dollar donations.

Clarifications:
I put down money to make sure the production is finished. Hence the name Bondsman, it is a form of legal servitude where I get the money back if the production is a success. It was to prevent me from quiting due to Internet harasement.

The Fine Young Capitalists Inc, is a for profit corporation. That is the point, we make games for money, and then split the profits with the people that invested in us. The identification number is Ontario Corporation Number 2402344 . Lola did not take part in setting up the company.

I hated Linkin hence the reason that I don’t have any information on it. The last game I worked on with Autobotika is Thanatos seen here.

tfycgame

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5 responses to “TFYC, Their Relationship with Autobotika + Charity Proportions

  1. Derek says:

    If I’m reading this correctly, the author asserts that 74% of game profit is indeed going to charity. 75% is the gold standard for charities, and only the multi-million funds can afford to do more (Red Cross for example is at 91%). The legal requirement for a charity is 10%, which is very common.

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  2. Zoe says:

    Just to point out, that game hasn’t been released and isn’t listed directly as one of the projects Autobotika is working on. They have apparently been doing concept art for it since 2012 based on people they’ve hired and flickr results. It definitely doesn’t have an ESRB rating yet, or any packaging, that I could google.

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  3. UnSubject says:

    There are actually a number of other questions I’ve got about TFYC that I haven’t seen answered elsewhere. Not to say the answers don’t exist, but I haven’t seen them.

    Questions like:

    – Who are TFYC? Outside of Rappard, it isn’t clear who is on the board, or who was part of the judging panel.
    – Who are the female developers who were selected as the top five titles? There is no transparency about who these women are other than a first name and an initial.
    – The above explanation seems to point to Autobotika being the largest financial beneficiary of this crowdfunding effort. How is the raised money being split between TFYC and Autobotika? And not the profit (TFYC site tends to muddy up profit sharing, revenue and donations to charity) but the actual crowdfunded money.

    And then there are the seven basic questions I think every Kickstarter (or Indiegogo, in this case) should answer (http://evilasahobby.com/2014/08/10/seven-questions-for-every-video-game-kickstarter/) about the project team, management and the allocated budget.

    There was one interview with Rappard where it was indicated that whichever title is chosen it will have a budget of $50k and a six month development cycle. But that was in an interview not attached to the Indiegogo fundraising informtion.

    All in all, there’s a lack of transparency about TFYC (or if the information is there, it’s not centralised).

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  4. Bigtallguy says:

    The anon source seems really tinfoily. why does it have precedence over the fine young capitalists own answers to the posted questions? the entire point of proof seems to rely on the fact that Matt has an exec producer position in autobotika and not much else. Also it seemed pretty clear to me that the fine young capitalists is not a charity, its raising money to literally fund a game. that is to be sold.( for additmently for what they oconsider to a good cause). for someone trying to scam people 65k seems a superrrrrr meager sum. even the crackpots who claim Anita is scaming people at least have a much larger pool of money:to people involved ratio to work with.

    and to anyone who thinks the design team is made up, the posted this video yesterday of the design team. it isn’t in english though, so turn on subtitles.

    also here’s autobotika’s website with dozens of sample reels showing their work.

    http://autobotika.com/

    Like

  5. Kingdo says:

    How about an expose about Rebel Game Jam?

    Donate directly to a personal PayPal. Nothing shady there or anything.

    Like

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