Red 5 Studios Board Dismisses Co-Founder Mark Kern

Red 5 Studios Board Dismisses Co-Founder Mark Kern

Firefall (beta screen)

Red 5 Studios CEO Mark Kern "no longer [has] any authority to act for or on behalf of Red 5 Studios".

According to a recent report, Mark Kern has been voted out as Red 5 Studios CEO by its own board of directors. Kern's departure was revealed earlier today thanks to a leaked email written by VP of Development James Macauley, forwarded "by a source close to the situation". Red 5 Studios has undergone recent layoffs and restructuring after its acquisition by The9, but the news is still surprising, given that Kern co-founded the studio alongside former World of Warcraft employees.

My fellow Red 5ers,

Today, the Red 5 Studios Board of Directors met and after deliberation have decided that Mark Kern will no longer be the Chief Executive Officer or on the Board of Red 5 Studios. Effective immediately Mark will no longer have any authority to act for or on behalf of Red 5 Studios.

As one of the founders of Red 5 Studios and our leader for many, many years, we owe Mark a great deal of appreciation for all that he has done to help build this company and to set the vision for an incredible new game. I am personally grateful for my relationship with Mark and the many years I have worked with him.

This is a major change to our company. Your managers and I will set to work to cover any and all areas that Mark was directly handling and we are continuing to solidify the plan for 2014. I assure you that we are and will continue to be here to serve and support each of you.

We will be holding a team meeting to discuss this topic at 11:15 a.m. tomorrow but I wanted to make sure you were officially informed of this significant change to your company.

Please grab me or any of the managers at any time or give us a call if you would like to discuss in private.

Please refrain from discussing this topic outside the company.

Sincerely,
James

Before this announcement, Kern had been working on Red 5 Studios' open beta of Firefall. We will follow up with additional information as it develops.

Source: GameFront

Permalink

I'm actually getting a little tired of "Leaked Email" stories in the gaming press. What are we, the paparazzi?

If company wants to make a public statement, fine. This reporting on leaked documents that were only meant for internal eyes just feels sleazy. It's like digging through someone's letter box looking for questionable receipts.

Can we really claim the moral high ground in regards to govt snooping if we let our media report on anything, regardless of how they acquired it?

Firefall had so much potential, but it seems like it was squandered by people who just didn't know what they were doing. I haven't played in the longest time because their now gone PvP was borked and the gear system just didn't work. The upgrades weren't near meaningful enough. I had at least a hundred hours logged in that game, but there just wasn't anywhere to go, it felt.

Krantos:
I'm actually getting a little tired of "Leaked Email" stories in the gaming press. What are we, the paparazzi?

If company wants to make a public statement, fine. This reporting on leaked documents that were only meant for internal eyes just feels sleazy. It's like digging through someone's letter box looking for questionable receipts.

Can we really claim the moral high ground in regards to govt snooping if we let our media report on anything, regardless of how they acquired it?

You're right, Woodward and Bernstein should have waited for the Nixon administration to admit its wrongdoing in a statement before reporting the Watergate break-ins.

I assure you, there were no nefarious means used to obtain this information.

Greg

Krantos:
I'm actually getting a little tired of "Leaked Email" stories in the gaming press. What are we, the paparazzi?

If company wants to make a public statement, fine. This reporting on leaked documents that were only meant for internal eyes just feels sleazy. It's like digging through someone's letter box looking for questionable receipts.

Can we really claim the moral high ground in regards to govt snooping if we let our media report on anything, regardless of how they acquired it?

Isn't there a large difference between reporting on info willfully given by someone not official before the information can go through the propaganda machine, and bugging people without their consent or seeking a court given warrant?

More on topic: Any ideas on why he was dismissed?

Greg Tito:
You're right, Woodward and Bernstein should have waited for the Nixon administration to admit its wrongdoing in a statement before reporting the Watergate break-ins.

I assure you, there was no nefarious means used to obtain this information.

Greg

Dammit, ya beat me to it. Ah well. OT, this is certainly depressing news. Of all the people from Red5 I've listened to, Kern was always the one who seemed to have the best vision for the game. Of course, that was some time ago, so who knows what's been happening. I was an early supporter, though I haven't been able to play for a few months. The idea they had for a story driven by the community was really intriguing and I had hoped to see it come to fruition. By and large I find I hate MMOs but the story and gameplay of this one were engaging . The number of delays and overhauls this game goes through does not, however, engender trust in me. We'll see where it ends up, I guess. Hopefully not the trashcan.

Xeorm:
More on topic: Any ideas on why he was dismissed?

We've got a few ideas. A new story with quotes from Red 5 employees is on the way.

Greg

Xeorm:
More on topic: Any ideas on why he was dismissed?

My bet is on money. Seems a safe bet. Who's trying to wring it out of whom will be the interesting part, though.

Greg Tito:

Krantos:
I'm actually getting a little tired of "Leaked Email" stories in the gaming press. What are we, the paparazzi?

If company wants to make a public statement, fine. This reporting on leaked documents that were only meant for internal eyes just feels sleazy. It's like digging through someone's letter box looking for questionable receipts.

Can we really claim the moral high ground in regards to govt snooping if we let our media report on anything, regardless of how they acquired it?

You're right, Woodward and Bernstein should have waited for the Nixon administration to admit its wrongdoing in a statement before reporting the Watergate break-ins.

I assure you, there were no nefarious means used to obtain this information.

Greg

Because the sacking of a Game Developer is completely equivalent to Watergate.

I'm simply tired of all these "Leaked Email" stories. The press, no offense, tends to think they're entitled to any and all information, regardless of its relevance or source. In more important, need to know scenarios, it's (sometimes) justified. In this case? It's the equivalent of saying a movie star didn't get an acting role because someone found a memo in a trash can.

I know you're defending your news reporters, that's your job. But I think there is a place of dignity in reporting, and I think readers are entitled to call an article out on it when they feel the reporter has overstepped good taste.

Krantos:

I think readers are entitled to call an article out on it when they feel the reporter has overstepped good taste.

Counterpoint, offered as another reader's opinion. I appreciate journalists not parroting company's P.R. statements. I think whistleblowers and investigative journalism do more good than harm. I do not think the scale of an article justifies - or fails to justify - attempts at investigative journalism. Diligence when reporting on less significant matters raises expectations of quality on issues of pith and moment.

IMHO, keep up the good work.

Elijah Newton:

Krantos:

I think readers are entitled to call an article out on it when they feel the reporter has overstepped good taste.

Counterpoint, offered as another reader's opinion. I appreciate journalists not parroting company's P.R. statements. I think whistleblowers and investigative journalism do more good than harm. I do not think the scale of an article justifies - or fails to justify - attempts at investigative journalism. Diligence when reporting on less significant matters raises expectations of quality on issues of pith and moment.

IMHO, keep up the good work.

In my opinion, a line has to be drawn somewhere. It's all well and good to promote investigative journalism, but there are limits to the freedoms I'm willing to allow the media.

Really, it's the same argument, only with different entities, as how much information we allow the govt to gather. Just as the govt claims the info is gathered to ensure security, the media claims they gather info because "we have a right to know."

But do we? Do we really have a right to know everything the media gains through questionable means? Are we really so desperate for information that we justify publishing info gathered from internal emails that have no relevance on the rest of us? Especially when it involves someone most of us don't even know losing their job?

You know what this is? This is the gaming equivalent of celebrity gossip. This has no bearing on any of us. The information was gleaned from a message that was intended for Red5 employees only (to my mind that's like opening someone else's mail). To my mind this story is no different than those photographers who follow celebs around.

This is gaming tabloids.

I wouldn't be as irritated about this if it were an isolated thing, but this sort of article have been cropping up more and more. The worst, in my opinion was when the media got in a huff because a dev called the media "Sneak fucks" in a private email. The irony of that was just painful.

Yes, I think investigative journalism is important. However, I DO think the subject matters. Just because they CAN print it, doesn't mean they should.

Krantos:
Because the sacking of a Game Developer is completely equivalent to Watergate.

I'm simply tired of all these "Leaked Email" stories. The press, no offense, tends to think they're entitled to any and all information, regardless of its relevance or source. In more important, need to know scenarios, it's (sometimes) justified. In this case? It's the equivalent of saying a movie star didn't get an acting role because someone found a memo in a trash can.

I know you're defending your news reporters, that's your job. But I think there is a place of dignity in reporting, and I think readers are entitled to call an article out on it when they feel the reporter has overstepped good taste.

How is reporting on information that's leaked to the press voluntarily in bad taste? I don't see your logic in this case at all. Sure, there is certainly scummy journalism and weird paparazzi stuff in the world, but I fail to see how reporting this news oversteps those bounds.

Is it just the fact that it's a leaked email that gets in your craw? What about email is so sacred that it can't be reported? I'm not upset, mind you, I'm just want to get the nugget of why you feel this particular news story wasn't justified. Because, let's face it, the enthusiast press doesn't get a chance to do a lot of investigative stuff like this and when we do, no one seems to appreciate it. Just seems a bit odd to me.

Greg

Greg Tito:

Krantos:
Because the sacking of a Game Developer is completely equivalent to Watergate.

I'm simply tired of all these "Leaked Email" stories. The press, no offense, tends to think they're entitled to any and all information, regardless of its relevance or source. In more important, need to know scenarios, it's (sometimes) justified. In this case? It's the equivalent of saying a movie star didn't get an acting role because someone found a memo in a trash can.

I know you're defending your news reporters, that's your job. But I think there is a place of dignity in reporting, and I think readers are entitled to call an article out on it when they feel the reporter has overstepped good taste.

How is reporting on information that's leaked to the press voluntarily in bad taste? I don't see your logic in this case at all. Sure, there is certainly scummy journalism and weird paparazzi stuff in the world, but I fail to see how reporting this news oversteps those bounds.

Is it just the fact that it's a leaked email that gets in your craw? What about email is so sacred that it can't be reported? I'm not upset, mind you, I'm just want to get the nugget of why you feel this particular news story wasn't justified. Because, let's face it, the enthusiast press doesn't get a chance to do a lot of investigative stuff like this and when we do, no one seems to appreciate it. Just seems a bit odd to me.

Greg

I don't understand why you don't think email is private. We consider traditional mail to be private. So much so that it's a felony to open mail that is not your own. So why is email not allowed the same degree of privacy?

As for this story in particular, it's the fact that this is information that in no way affects us, and yet, we're airing some company's dirty laundry. I made the point to another user here, that, to me, this is the gaming equivalent of celebrity gossip.

It's not really our business, we only want to know because the gaming community follows game devs as ardently as old aunt Mae follows Brad and Angelina. This is other people's lives that we're just creepily watching through the curtains.

"How is reporting on information that's leaked to the press voluntarily in bad taste."

See, but that's just it. There is no such thing as "Leaked Voluntarily." If it was a voluntary disclosure it wouldn't be a leak. It was an internal email. It's likely that the sender expected it to stay that way. The person leaking it did so without the knowledge of any one with authority to actually release it.

To me, publishing that sort of thing when it has no actual bearing on any of us, and is probably embarrassing to the person it's about, is, as you put it, scummy journalism, regardless of whether you had to get your hands dirty to get the info.

Now, as I said, if it's important information, that's another matter. This isn't important. It's just an interest piece, and the only reason we're interested is because of the creepy way the gaming community follows devs. I think it's a practice that degrades both the community and the media that reports it.

***Note***
would love to continue discussion. Sadly going out of town for the weekend. Will be willing to pick up on monday.

Krantos:

In my opinion, a line has to be drawn somewhere. It's all well and good to promote investigative journalism, but there are limits to the freedoms I'm willing to allow the media.

Before I go further, I acknowledge you are sharing your opinion. It's different than mine but that's cool. It's your call how much freedom you wish to allow the media. We differ but I'm not trying to shift your opinion on that topic.

Krantos:

Really, it's the same argument, only with different entities, as how much information we allow the govt to gather. Just as the govt claims the info is gathered to ensure security, the media claims they gather info because "we have a right to know."

Your equation between the gathering of data by the government and media is specious. For the strength of your own argument in the future, I would recommend against making it.

The gathering of data by the government (may I assume we're talking more-or-less about warrentless wiretapping?) is an involuntary process whereby data generated by individuals is gathered and examined as an act of surveillance. In the U.S., prior to 2001's Patriot Act, the expectation was that any such data gathering would require a court-issued warrant. By 'involuntary' I mean that neither the sender nor the recepient of a communication submits the data to the government.

The gathering of data by the media, particularly in this situation, can be reasonably assumed to be the result of a voluntary submission or matter of public record. The word 'leaked' tends to mean submitted by an source who wishes to remain anonymous or uncredited. The validation of the source is, I believe, an editorial duty. (incidentally, neat to see Mr. Tito weigh in on this) Sometimes folks are less than diligent about validating their sources and, of course, your approval may vary - certainly there are some outlets I consider to be less scrupulous than others when it comes to vetting their sources.

I really hope this isn't something super shitty, especially after Red5 wrote about in length on both their website, hiring pages, and interviews about the importance of not being super shitty when developing games, and went through extra lengths to stress their requirements for quality and due diligence, and features super goofy public profiles for their employees. Would be a shame if they wasted their really polished PR on flopping.

Unfortunately for them, I think Warframe, and to a lesser extent Planetside 2, have passed them by on this one.

Krantos:
I don't understand why you don't think email is private. We consider traditional mail to be private. So much so that it's a felony to open mail that is not your own. So why is email not allowed the same degree of privacy?

Yes, it is illegal to open someone else's mail, but it is not illegal to read a letter sent to someone else when that person passes it to you and says "here, read this".

I feel that the sticking point here is on the definition of the word "leaked". The way you appear to be using it makes it sound like someone crept into the offices of Red 5, broke into a workstation, accessed the email system and sent the email out.

I feel it is more likely that an employee of Red 5 received the email, said "this looks like it could be of interest to individual XYZ, and forwarded it on or printed it out and sent it to them.

Enjoy your trip away

I kinda figured something like this would happen... Large sums of money being squandered. Control and direction of the game being heavily influenced by the game's community, with initial focus and boasting about Esport PvP, just to spend a few years worth of money and then scrap it completely.

Omegatronacles:

Krantos:
I don't understand why you don't think email is private. We consider traditional mail to be private. So much so that it's a felony to open mail that is not your own. So why is email not allowed the same degree of privacy?

Yes, it is illegal to open someone else's mail, but it is not illegal to read a letter sent to someone else when that person passes it to you and says "here, read this".

I feel that the sticking point here is on the definition of the word "leaked". The way you appear to be using it makes it sound like someone crept into the offices of Red 5, broke into a workstation, accessed the email system and sent the email out.

I know that was not the case. I was attempting to explain to Mr. Tito the reason I think Email should be private. Given the context and the primary discussion, that was probably a poor example for me to use. The point I was trying to make was "Email should be given the same degree of privacy as traditional mail," not, "this was akin to raiding someone's mailbox."

Poor choice of phrasing on my part.

Elijah Newton:

Your equation between the gathering of data by the government and media is specious. For the strength of your own argument in the future, I would recommend against making it.

The gathering of data by the government (may I assume we're talking more-or-less about warrentless wiretapping?) is an involuntary process whereby data generated by individuals is gathered and examined as an act of surveillance. In the U.S., prior to 2001's Patriot Act, the expectation was that any such data gathering would require a court-issued warrant. By 'involuntary' I mean that neither the sender nor the recepient of a communication submits the data to the government.

The gathering of data by the media, particularly in this situation, can be reasonably assumed to be the result of a voluntary submission or matter of public record. The word 'leaked' tends to mean submitted by an source who wishes to remain anonymous or uncredited. The validation of the source is, I believe, an editorial duty. (incidentally, neat to see Mr. Tito weigh in on this) Sometimes folks are less than diligent about validating their sources and, of course, your approval may vary - certainly there are some outlets I consider to be less scrupulous than others when it comes to vetting their sources.

A valid point. While I still think there are parallels between the two arguments (short version being they're both trying to justify what I consider an invasion of privacy), the differences are stark enough that I agree with your assessment that it was not the best analogy to make.

The short version of my stance is this was a case of private documents meant for internal company eyes being distributed and published for no valid reason. Given numerous historical examples of "leaks" bringing incriminating and highly important information to light, I can understand many people defending such leaks. To be honest, when the subject is important enough, I actually agree.

I do not feel that was the case here. This "Leak" bore no real significance for anyone other than the people who already had access to the information. Its sole purpose was to satisfy idle curiosity, and the only thing it accomplished was to make a media field day over someone losing their job. Basically, we're making a difficult time for someone even harder, by smearing it all over the internet, for no other reason than we're curious.

That, to me, seems wrong.

 

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