Holy crap Batman! I'm very sorry to read this thread (for Phil, DP, and pre-order owners), but this is better than half the stuff on TV. I've wasted a few hours, but read the whole thing. You can't make this shit up. Wow!
1. DP should have taken Phil off all the company accounts. Email, ownership documents, PAYPAL - everything when he resigned. First thing you do when an employee leaves is shut them out of database access, email, credit cards, hell even phone. I could understand forgetting. But the employee/partner has been asking you to be removed - and you still don't do it?? This has "where there's smoke there's fire" warning all over it.
2. Why wouldn't DP owners immediately sign the ownership transfer papers of DP USA that Phil provided? This HAS to be addressed. Otherwise, it appears that DP does not want liability of the money collected in the USA for preorders but just wants access to the money to pay salary, supplies, and travel expenses. I'm not a lawyer but would be interested in the proper legal perspective on this. It appears like DP was limiting their "liability" and having Phil carry it all. What ramifications if the company had to shut down before production - who was on the hook? DP or DP USA?? If the latter, I get Phil wanting out as he was playing banker carrying all the risk. That would make DP have another meaning - check an adult porn site for what I mean. Caveat - if assumption of liability is accurate.
3. I STRONGLY suggest Phil contact Iceman per his offer to mediate a solution. Send a PM now. In fact, DP should contact Iceman as well. Great offer and one that should be leveraged by all.
4. I expect (based on preorder model) a boutique to burn through some of the cash to pay for parts, supplies, etc to build the pin. Traveling all over to drum up business I hope is on their dime. What amazes me by all (boutiques) is the lack of communication to the owners who provide the cash. Tis that time of year where everyone watches "It's a wonderful Life". Watch the movie - a run on the bank will absolutely sink the boutiques if only funding is from preorders. Need to step up communications if not funding yourself. Otherwise game over. Clock is ticking.
The license issues are concerning but could still be worked out. Not easy but salvageable. I don't blame Phil for whistle blowing as he's tried to get out - he's validated that in his communications examples - and for some reason DP will not acknowledge. Maybe he could have hired a lawyer to help quietly expedite things instead of a public forum - but role playing many may take the same approach to force DP to engage directly. Refunding money - good for pinsiders nightmare for DP. I see Phil as screaming for DP to respond to him and he will stop - and they continue to ignore. Odd (the guy burying his mother I totally get. So sorry to hear this. Other one, stop drinking white russians and step up to the plate)
Why does Phil need to find a new owner in USA - DP owns the product, I'm puzzled why it appears they are not willing to accept all business responsibility. If they believe in what they are building and all is legit, there are many people in the hobby that may have stepped up to help run the US operations. It's just odd.
I loosely know a few local DP people, and they are awesome straight shooters (Scott). I applaud the owners of DP and what they were trying to provide in products - great stuff. The business side, ouch. If this is showing the US how to build a game (as rumored part of their motivation) - I'd say back to the drawing board. Stern still has you beat on the business side. For all our sake please fix this.
RIP Pre-order model.