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Nicalis, accused of mistreating her employees according to Kotaku

Nicalis started out as a production company willing to bring indie games to consoles. Recently a report has come out that accuses its CEO of mistreating its employees, mismanagement and ignoring support for external developers.

Before continuing, we have to advise that everything that follows is a report from Kotaku, which has its own sources and has spoken with those involved. In its day Nicalis started as a team that would bring indie games to consoles given that manufacturers asked for many conditions to publish games or it was a team to make game ports for consoles.

Thanks to this, it was able to carry Cave Story, The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes, VVVVVV, Blade Strangers, Code of Princess Ex, Ikaruga... Some games were delayed and even did not appear as The 90's Arcade Racer. And a recent report from Kotaku says that the company was the scene of constant labor abuse towards its employees and ignored developers with whom it had signed agreements. All the bad atmosphere is, according to the report, the product of CEO Tyrone Rodriguez's personality.

Labor mistreatment and mismanagement in Nicalis

We now go on to replicate the stories that Kotaku has decided to bring to light. They come from numerous developers who have left Nicalis or developers who have collaborated with them.

According to developer David Crooks, Tyrone Rodriguez offered him a contract to port and publish Enter the Gungeon on Playstation 4. But Nicalis never worked on that port and Tyrone ignored all emails from Crooks. After months of no response, he decided to cancel the contract and go to another developer to do that port. Other stories of how they ignored developers who had given their games to them include how Save me Mr Tako did not receive patches on Switch that added content because, according to Nicalis, “had not reached enough sales and it was not profitable to work on the patch“, or the creators of Furi who lost a few months of sales by not having the game on Nintendo Switch for launch after reaching another agreement and being ignored.

Those who have worked at Nicalis corroborate that the company is poorly organized. Being a small team, they could only work on a game or two at a time. And they always prioritized ports of Cave Story and The Bindong of Isaac. That and they used to work on the game Tyrone wanted that very day.

Some workers comment that the company had an extremely favorable position, and they knew it. Nintendo had given them Nintendo Switch development kits long before other retailers, allowing them to contract to publish games and re-rent those devkits.

It was not easy to work at Nicalis

Other workers who were hired at Nicalis agree that while Tyrone Rodriguez could be friendly, he had a management philosophy that extended to mistreatment of workers. Pressured to drink heavily on business trips, used racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic comments in the company's internal chat group; And it could be both constant pressure and a boss who ignores his workers. Nicalis is not a large company and therefore does not have human resources personnel, so all labor complaints must go to Tyrone, who is the one who is accused by workers of being an abusive boss.

Some statements say that Tyrone wasted his workers' time because he wanted a specific way of doing work and then did not respond, or that he got angry with workers who left their position for dinner during crunch, who were absent when they went to the doctor or to take care of sick family members. Business trips to Japan or events used to have scenes where Tyrone pushed to drink a lot more than the workers and degraded them if they didn't. It was normal for Tyrone to get developers drunk before doing business with them. He challenged a worker to drink a mixture of beer, raw eggs, soy sauce and more that he found, and pressed that he was the one who paid their payroll.

A special history of abuse comes from an overweight worker with poor health. On a trip to Japan, Tyrone made him walk so much that he ended up bleeding from his legs. When he went to the hotel to rest, Tyrone and his brother told him that he should go to a nearby building, but the worker refused. Shortly after that worker was fired. Other workers say they were being reprimanded for not wanting to go on a trip with Tyrone, and he took them off the credits.

Before going public with these stories, Edmund McMillen was contacted. According to his response, apart from The Binding of Isaac: Reptance, he will no longer be working with the company on his next projects, The Legend of Bum-bo and Mewgenics; in the case of wanting ports for consoles.

Again, an unfortunate story about labor abuse and mismanagement in the world of video games. There are not a few stories about abusive crunch in video games at large companies. Nicalis is not a large company, it only has 20 employees, and there are many stories that, if what they say in Kotaku are true, show a serious structural problem in the company.

Source: Kotaku

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Benjamin Rosa

Madrileño whose publishing career began in 2009. I love investigating curiosities that I later bring to you, readers, in articles. I studied photography, a skill that I use to create humorous photomontages.

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