A few days ago, Limited Run Games revealed that the long-awaited Wii U physical edition of the popular Metroid homage Axiom Verge was finally going to be released on March 29. While that bit of news garnered more than a few responses of “huh, that’s interesting,” the far more interesting story emerged alongside the announcement. Dan Adelman, a producer for Axiom Verge, took to Twitter to reveal a long, twisting account that explains the Wii U physical edition’s delay, as well as the reasons for his lawsuit against the edition’s former European publisher, Badland Publishing.
Limited Run Games just announced the long-awaited release details for Axiom Verge Wii U. (Link to actual tweet: https://t.co/uyExyFDG2L)
We’ve been quiet about it until now, but Badland Games ripped us (me and Tom Happ) off as well. Here are some of the details: [1/14] pic.twitter.com/PEzDAzNHDR
— Dan Adelman (@Dan_Adelman) March 15, 2019
In his account, Adelman says both he and Tom Happ, Axiom Verge’s creator, went with Badland Publishing (which is also publishing The Occupation and Nightmare Boy) for the European physical release of the game because Badland promised a generous deal. Not only would the company match what other publishers were offering in terms of revenue share, but would also contribute a whopping 75 percent of its cut in order to create a trust fund to support Happ’s child Alastair, born with Kernicterus.
Adelman alleges that when it came time for Badland to pay its share and put down money for Alastair’s health fund, communications with the publisher went dark. He says that he’s suing the company for at least $200,000, but that “because of the international nature of the suit, it’s proving hard to make headway.” Adelman ended his account by claiming Badland Publishing “has literally stolen money from a disabled toddler.”
A few hours after Adelman’s tweets, Badland Publishing CEO Luis Quintans responded to the comments, and the various articles that had been published about them, with a statement stating that the company’s financial circumstances made it difficult to stick to the original timeline it proposed, but that the company had every intention of repaying the debt. You can read the statement in full here:
Statement on Games Industry article about Axiom Verge and BadLand Games pic.twitter.com/9KTiJoxWwZ
— Luis Quintans 🙌 (@Luis_Quintans) March 16, 2019
We’ve reached out to Adelman for his thoughts on Badland’s statement and will update accordingly should he get back to us.
Usually, these sort of situations are very complicated, with shades of gray about the whole matter. However, Quintans’ convoluted response isn’t doing a lot to engender sympathy to the publisher’s situation.