Anyone who's anyone in the Fallout community knows Pawel "Ausir" Dembowski. Founder of The Vault wiki which contains over 15,000 pages of Fallout lore, Pawel is a human encyclopaedic of gaming's favourite post-apocalyptic franchise. Let me put it this way. When Chris Avellone has a question about Fallout, he asks Pawel.
So how did the man who helped to grow Wikia with one of the most popular gaming wikis on the planet over the last five years find himself globally banned from the same network that employed him only a few months ago? By leaving a comment.
You see, Pawel is now employed by Curse. He moved The Vault to the Curse Network in November of last year and took a position as Curse's "Wiki Team Lead". That means he's now in charge of all the Curse wikis, including the one for Cobalt, a game published by Mojang. Mojang links to Curse's wiki as their official wiki, but Wikia was claiming that their wiki was the official Cobalt wiki. Hence Pawel's comment. Next thing you know he was globally banned from Wikia without warning. Not cool bro.
However, there's obviously a bit more to this story.
Wikia has since kept a copied of The Vault's contents (which they're allowed to do under Creative Commons) but have renamed it to the "Nukapedia". Due to years of SEO optimisation and record-breaking traffic, Wikia's wiki is still the most commonly used resource for Fallout news, even if it's no longer the official home of The Vault. Go ahead and Google anything Fallout-related, Nukapedia will come up.
So why on Earth would Pawel move The Vault away from Wikia, where he had a comfortable job and loyal following, to the Curse network knowing all too well that The Vault would become the #2 Fallout wiki and it would take him and his team of moderators years to build it back up?
Well, he says it was a group decision. The Vault admins had generally been displeased with Wikia's move towards becoming more of a social network than a wiki. They wanted more freedom on deciding how the wiki was being run and more of a focus on content instead of social features. They wanted to focus on gaming instead of Wikia's recent focus on lifestyles.
Curse also pays better.
Pawel says the split was amicable at first and he has tried to stay on good terms with Wikia. However, as Pawel and his team contunue to produce more original content at The Vault and more and more people leave Wikia's Nukapedia to follow Pawel to The Vault's new home, things started to become bitter.
Relationships between the two networks have become more noticeably strained and Pawel had started to be viewed by many as a man who split the Fallout community in twain.
So, one day, as he was just leaving a simple comment in hopes of clarifying an issue between the two networks, he was globally banned. Worse yet, he knows who banned him, and says they were once friends.
Pawel knows he has a long road ahead in order to build The Vault back up into the #1 Fallout resource on the web. Hell, even when you enter "The Vault" into Google, Nukapedia comes up.
However, he and his team are confident they can make it happen by the time the next Fallout game comes around by providing superior content on a more consistent basis. Pawel has never been bitter about his split with Wikia. This whole situation has saddened him more than anything.
All he hopes is that for all your post apocalyptic gaming needs, you'll be sure to check out the new and improved Vault
It's never easy having to deal with your former employers or employees, especially on the vast wasteland that is the internet. However, one thing is certain. War never changes.
Image: Chad Lakkis.