NIS America will not pay sponsorship fees of $3,000 from this year’s GaymerX, but Devolver Digital and others have agreed to pledge.
Update: NIS America and GaymerX have issued statements regarding the miscommunication over sponsorship of the conference. NIS America has fulfilled the $3,000 promised to GaymerX.
“I want to publicly apologize for any pain or distress I may have caused NIS America or their team – they have been very genuine and sincere in fixing the issue and have confirmed that payment will be made in full,” GaymerX founder Matt Conn said. “They have been nothing but professional during this process after the initial email, and it can’t be understated the fact that, unlike most conservative AAA companies, they were willing to take the risk of being associated with a queer event and they went out of their way to be a part of it. That statement alone is huge and I feel as though my statements were taken out of context. I in no way intended for the dialog to be that they had made this action because we are a LGBTQ organization, my point, at the time, was that I did not feel like that email would have been sent to a larger convention or organization, and felt bullied because of that.”
David Alonzo of NIS America gave his own apology as well. “I’d like to sincerely apologize once again for all the miscommunication on my end, as I should have been more clear about things from the start,” Alonzo said. “I also want to say that as a part of the LGBTQ community, I will always be supportive of queer rights. I obviously got overzealous in wanting to support you guys, but because of this I failed to follow the proper internal protocol. Fortunately, NISA wholeheartedly endorses the community, and has fulfilled what was promised.”
Original: An oversight at NIS America, publisher of games such as Danganronpa, Disgaea, and Hyperdimension Neptunia, has left LGBT-centric gaming conference GaymerX short on sponsorship money by $3,000.
After taking to social media in frustration, GaymerX founder Matt Conn has said the situation will be worked out. Conn tweeted an email from a NIS America representative that broke the news NIS America was unable to fulfill the sponsorship. “When I talked with you, I checked to see that we still had spend[ing] (sic) left in our games budget,” the representative said. “Unfortunately, during this time our games producer was out and I didn’t find out until today that the remainder of the budget had already been allocated.”
Yesterday Devolver Digital, publisher of Hotline Miami, Luftrausers, and the upcoming Titan Souls, wrote on Twitter that it will pledge $3,000 for a 2015 GaymerX sponsorship. The company also challenged others to do the same. Mike Bithell, developer of Thomas Was Alone followed suit, matching Devolver Digital’s pledge. Other matches include Tinsley PR and Coffee Stain Studios, Goat Simulator developer.
GaymerX has been in financial trouble. In April GaymerX organizers announced this year’s GaymerX, held in San Francisco from July 11 to July 13, would be the last due to the burden of costs. Despite a successful Kickstarter, GaymerX costs a lot of money that the event often doesn’t receive from corporate sponsorships. “We’re certainly not against it coming back in some other, more sustainable form, but we were basically trying to produce something that was a bit too large and ambitious for the amount of corporate interest in supporting queer geek culture,” Conn said at the time. The hotel bill for GaymerX2 was over $90,000.
GaymerX has three projects, one finished and two underway. The first is the documentary Gaming in Color that explores queer gaming. The second is a game called Read Only Memories, a cyberpunk adventure game out this November on PC, Mac, and OUYA. The last is two projects in one: GaymerXTalks and GaymerXJam. The talks are all of the GaymerX2 panels, which will be edited and distributed online for free to view on YouTube. The jam is a two and a half days of “giving all gamers the ability to make a game exploring SOMETHING queer.” Participants will be able to speak with professors to work with tools like Twine, Unity, and Renpi. The event will take place this December. Kickstarter campaigns for both events will launch in a few weeks.
GaymerX is an important conference for the queer community, which often feels left out of games. While programming has been a success for the conference and companies like BioWare have been happy to support it, it is financially instable.