After a general staff ‘suspension’ and ban from work premises, Interzone workers were recently allowed into the office to retrieve personal belongings. What they found was an office where all servers and computers had been removed.
Kotaku Australia has reviewed correspondence between Interzone directors and staff in Australia and Brazil from December 2008 through to February this year. It shows US management has spent much of that time promising the business is on the cusp of receiving fresh funding.
Promises of funding, always just around the corner, were being delivered while staff salary payments were falling behind. Promises also occasionally included talk of bonuses and stock plans “as a sign of appreciation” for staff loyalty through difficult times.
In the case of Brazil, there are also personal written guarantees from director Marty Brickey that he would pay their final salary owings if Interzone could not. But then with the follow up comment that if staff took up legal action, he would “feel no personal obligation to satisfy IZ’s debt at that point”.
It seems the Interzone operation has been running on the smell of dangling carrots for more than 15 months. And with the carrots have come internal staff divisions between those who have wanted to take action against the company to fight for their owings, and those who have continued to hope the promised new funding was on its way.
We will continue following this unfortunate situation to see what eventuates.