Firefall developer, Red5 has been unable to pay its employees over the Christmas period.
Red5 was acquired by Chinese publisher The9 in March 2010, followed three years later by the outing of founder Mark Kern by the board of directors.
More recently, Red5 laid off approximately 40 employees in November after Firefall released in China leaving approximately 80 developers working at the Irvine, California based studio.
To add insult to injury, the pay day that was missed happened to land on the 25th December and there was no direct advanced warning that payroll would not be met. However, earlier in the month a sign that all was not right may have arisen. The previous payroll also failed to go through with the management blaming a bank error and providing employees with paper cheques to cover their pay.
This time, management emailed some employees, not all of them for some reason, with details of what occurred on the Christmas Day payroll session. The message made its way to social media and is shown below:
Hi Team, I regret to inform you that Red5 currently does not have the funds necessary to meet our payroll scheduled for today Friday, December 25. Due to this, there will not be payroll paid this week. Red5 and The9, our parent company, is currently working to resolve this, during the holidays, as soon as possible. We are hopeful we’ll be able to resolve this and will update the team immediately.
Other members of the games industry have started a GoFundMe campaign to help the Red5 employees that have been affected and perhaps help them pay their bills and rent this month if Red5 fails to deliver their actual pay cheques.
One Red5 employee told Game Informer
I’m pretty much the breadwinner. I was pretty depressed, but I was setting aside my feelings so I could at least have a good Christmas Day with my family. I was going crazy inside. This situation has possibly left me in a position where if I can’t come up with something in the next three weeks, I might not have this apartment.
Firefall is an MMORPG with shooter elements and comes in the form of a free to play title which can be downloaded from www.firefallthegame.com