Friday, September 29, 2023

DC Deckbuilding Game Publisher Cryptozoic Entertainment Accused Of Mistreatment Of Artists, Delay Of Pay To Freelancers

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Cryptozoic Entertainment, the company behind both board games like the DC Deckbuilding Game and licensed collectibles from various Warner Bros. properties like Peacemaker, Wonder Woman, and Rick & Morty, has come under fire from a group of artists for alleged mistreatment at the hands of the publisher in the form of long-delayed payment and total lack of communication in the interim.

The discussion was kicked off three days ago by Marco Tamura, a Brazilian artist hired by Cryptozoic to work on an upcoming project. In an “open letter” thread on Twitter, Tamura alleges that despite meeting his contracted deadlines the company still took months to pay him the agreed upon fee. He attempted to contact them multiple times, including emails to CEO Cory Hudson Jones, and got no response, though he received an update that his payments would be on their way.
Tweet Text: One of my first jobs ever was for Cryptozoic, I had to get a lawyer to threaten to sue them to get my payment of 5k 6months past the due date. They ghosted me almost immediately after I sent in my final but after my lawyer contacted them they paid up in a week. Good luck :/

The thread led to many replies and quotes from other artists affected by the alleged delays, many of them also from Brazil. At least 15 artists have spoken up about allegedly waiting on pay from Cryptozoic, were still waiting on pay, or in one case had to hire a lawyer to get their contracted fee. These delays ranged from two months all the way up to half a year. One artist, Namba Harumi, said they had delayed payments way back in 2018 when they worked on Cryptozoic’s HEX: Shards of Fate game.

Speaking with Temura, he told The Fandomentals that while he’s lucky to have a full-time job to keep him afloat, he was counting on the pay from the project to help with some expenses. Other artists he’s spoken to do rely more on these payments to be on time.

“In the case of some colleagues of mine who have freelance as their single income resource it became a bigger problem

they had to compromise on many things in order to pay their regular bills such as rent, health insurance, credit card”

He also added that the contracts with Cryptozoic state that payment will be sent within two weeks of submission (A source has also provided corroborating documents that appear to confirm their story). Many of the accusers believe that their mistreatment is thanks to their location in Brazil, as it’s harder to sue from another country.

Tweet Text: 
UPDATE 14/06

Hey guys, we received an email from @Cryptozoic
 stating that all payments should be in within the next 5 business days!

For all the people that retweeted, commented and took their time to help us in this campaign, I want to thank you all!
Best regards, Marco Tamura

Temura later sent an update out on Twitter saying that Cryptozoic had promised artists that payment was on its way, and told us that other artists have said they had a wire transfer on its way. The Fandomentals has reached out to Cryptozoic for comment.

As this is a developing story we will update it as new details arise.

Images via Respective Owners

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  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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