If you have been following the news recently, you know that employees of Red 5 Studios (Red 5) have not been getting paid. Some have even had to scrape by and avoid Christmas in general due to payment issues at the company.
But I have it on authority from a source inside the company that employees will be getting paid on December 30th. This shouldn’t be taken lightly however; I was also informed that roughly twenty percent of the staff at Red 5 were laid off on the Friday before Thanksgiving…and not offered a severance package. Three additional employees were dismissed just last week.
Now as one would expect, morale is incredibly low at the company. As a Reddit post pointed out earlier, an employee known as “Steven” was using the Red 5’s Facebook group to keep track of team members who were talking about the poor working conditions.
I tried reaching out to Steven but was told to contact official channels at Red 5, which I did. As a result, another employee was kind enough to share the Facebook link with me. However, the group has since gone into “private mode” so no media outlets can find or talk to employees at the company.
Things begin to get steadily worse for Red 5 and the situation has left a lot of people considering leaving the company and applying for new jobs elsewhere. I have also tried reaching out to friends I have made in the world of Red 5’s flagship Sci-Fi MMO: Firefall. These are game moderators whom out of fear of reprisal have sworn off talking to us.
Giving more truth to the Reddit post I mentioned earlier, not only is the company reprimanding people and holding their First Amendment rights hostage, employees are now in fear for their jobs because of it. Given the virtually abandoned state of Firefall and how management has been handling the whole fiasco, it’s a safe bet that the MMO won’t be around much longer (to which even our source agrees).
I will keep everyone updated as the situation unfolds. As always, I hope all our acquaintances, including the ones who can’t speak to us are okay.
For any Red 5 employee who happens to read this, here are some legal links regarding First Amendment rights in the workplace, and also California business laws regarding payment.
Note: Just because we say they’ll get paid, it doesn’t mean they actually will. Also, although it should have been obvious and inferred, if their contract calls for informational silence then of course they can’t legally talk about what’s happening in the company. Perhaps I should have made that more clear in the article.