Quoted from applejuice:
If this wasn't the case, i wouldn't even be mentioning not getting what was agreed and i certainly wouldn't have spent 2 years working with zidware without a contract in place. This wasn't a hobby for me.. It was a career choice. You should listen to my interview with thisflippinpodcast for more insight. $11k was missing from the invoices by the end of my time there along with NO GAME and was why i had to stop working for them.
so to clear up any confusion YES i did.
Who decided that the only people due a game are the people who sent in cash? Those who spent an enormous amount of time working on MG would still be getting only pennies on the dollar IF they actually got a MG in the end. If it was, in fact, John's decision to leave out those who worked tirelessly on his games, well, that speaks volumes for his character. There are some who feel that John is losing his mind. In one of his lucid moments he said to me, "I have got to get these games out. Or I better get out. Like to Mexico." Joking or not, he knew how bad things were in that moment. But not a day later he would be aloof and confused. Just the kind of person you love telling you all the time, "Now Aaron, pinball is different..." when you would challenge them on business and operational basics.
We only wasted some time, postage and gas in our efforts to try and help John. To be crystal clear, I absolutely do not feel like we are owed anything at all. But when I see all this MG activity and none of it includes games going towards fulfilling commitments to those who actually did the work, well it just pisses me off.
I had no idea Jeremy (zombie yeti) even existed until he showed up on Pinside. I thought John was the artist. Why? Because he was signing the artwork like it was his while he was at the NW Pinball Show. Instead of using readily available pinball controllers, he decided getting a controller made for him made sense because he didn't like that pricing seemed too high (thinking he should get high volume pricing for game runs of <20?). He would talk about ideas which you shared with him as if they were his own (I had to stop him more than once and make sure he understood that repeating an idea in his own words did not make it his idea, too) and he hated being called on his distortion of fact. John always had someone to blame for something. He was petty and foolish.
John claimed that he wanted to mentor and teach the making of pinball to a new generation of pinball designers. What I learned from John Popadiuk was that the work of a pinball game designer is only a fraction of what it takes to make and sell a pinball game. Without a solid team, resources, infrastructure and someone actually running the business, you are just noodling away endlessly towards whoknowswhat. Running a business and leading and inspiring a team isn't easy and it certainly doesn't just happen as a bi-product of a bunch of talented, passionate people working together. John spent more time and energy trying to control everyone he worked with than he ever did teaching or mentoring in any meaningful way. It was this approach to leadership that had John burning through designers, artists, animators, engineers, programmers, and more. Instead, he could have stood back and had a killer team knocking out some pretty amazing pinball. But John couldn't get out of his own way and let great people do great work together.
I want nothing more than for those who are owed games and money from John to be made whole, if at all possible. But the legacy of John Popadiuk will be that of someone who preyed upon the goodwill of many kind, enthusiastic and supportive people in a selfish manner unmatched by anyone I have ever interacted with on even a semi-business level. I will remember John as someone who used people and who snatched away pinball money that could have been spent on the pinball creations from other companies. Saddest of all, for some, John turned playing pinball into a sad reminder of being taken advantage of by someone they once admired.