GameFront has a big exposé on Red 5, the developers behind the much delayed Firefall. Part one of the feature was released today, and it focuses mostly on Mark Kern, former CEO of Red 5. Note that we at Destructoid have heard similar stories regarding Red 5, and a lot of it lines up with what GameFront has revealed.
Sources have described the working conditions at Red 5 as toxic, from the lack of leadership among the company due to the flat structure, to fear of upsetting Kern or other long-time employees that would result in instant firings. Kern would often disappear for days to weeks at a time, leaving team members to focus on what they thought needed to be done. When Kern would eventually return, he would have different ideas, thus forcing the development team to scrap whatever they had been working on for months.
"[Kern] would shout and scream his perspectives," one former Red 5 employee stated. "He would ignore anything that didn’t fit his immediate viewpoint — which was subject to sudden, violent changes. He would rage-email people in the small hours of the night, or on weekends."
The biggest evidence of Kern's action can be seen with Firefall's (at the time) biggest draw, PvP mode. Kern publicly announced on the forums they would be dropping PvP, which was when the developers themselves learned about this for the very first time. Check out Game Front's full exposé on the troubled history of Firefall.read more