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:
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).
While 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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.