The Fall of the House of Interplay,
For those that don't know, Interplay, the
once famous game developer, and my former employer after struggling
for 6 six weeks unable to meet payroll, closed down. Some 18 months
after it ended operations the Superior Court of California issued
a judgment on my behalf for the entire amount of back due wages,
unpaid vacation, and penalties. Like the others who also received
judgments for Herve Cean's unwillingness to pay his former employees,
I have repeatedly tried to convince this former CEO of Interplay
to pay up on that legal judgment. In 18 months all offers, no matter
of favorable, were rebuked.
On, 26, Oct 2005, somebody requested on an investment web
site the address of Interplay, which I provided as a matter
of public record. What transpired later in a series of emails between
myself and Herve Cean provides interesting insight into his mind
set, and in my opinion displays his unbelievable arrogance including
his willingness to bankrupt the company rather than pay the court
awarded judgment. I can not help but wonder, if he was so adamant
about not paying, why he never showed up for any of the hearings,
or even file an appeal.
His comments are in red mine in blue.
|Just saw this on the Raging Bull forum:
26 Oct 2005, 05:05 AM EDT
Msg. 1433 of 1433
(This msg. is a reply to 1432 by middark.)
Jump to msg. #
1682 Langley Avenue
Irvine CA, 92614
Herve's residence is listed as
707 N. Rexford Drive
Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
(both were on the Notice of Entry of Judgment)
| Oh, you're going to be really surprised
to the depths at which I'm
Willing to go to in seeing this issue resolved to my satisfaction.
I'm going use the full extent of the American legal system with
its plethora of legal venues. We will be seeing a lot of each
other in the various courts I intend us to visit.
My private investigator found out all sorts of little tidbits
about how you are managing what is left of the company. What
money you have and what money you don't. How many law suits,
judgments, and legal actions exist. What franchises you have
left. Don't feed the me the line about how you can't pay. We
both know better.
You had your chance at negotiations. You had your chance to
appeal. Now, a California court states you HAVE to pay, and
I don't care anymore where That money comes from, nor does the
court. Your own personal account, what money Interplay has in
the bank, or even if you have to liquidate another franchise,
but you have to pay that money and I fully intent to collect
and enforce the will of the court, even if I have to place a
lien on all corporate earnings, including those coming in from
Avalon. It is no longer a matter subject to debate, you had
18 months to cut a deal, you refused.
I will not cease until I am paid the full value of the judgment
$17,192.65, $8,296.47 of which is penalties for your arrogant
refusal to take advantage of my various, and very generous,
offers. The investing public needs to made aware of your level
of competence as CEO. You can set that level. Its all up to
Looks like 250,000 shares still changed hands today...
You and I know there is no money at the company and that I have
managing a miraculous turnaround to get this far without using
bankruptcy mechanism which would have meant that nobody would
get paid ever...
I worked without pay for one year while in the von karman office
and I am still working without pay to prove this company will
I other people were smarter, how come they drove Interplay into
the ground and wasted so much money in the past? You tell me?
The legal system will not get you paid, it will just end up
killing the company and all hopes to get money forever.
I lost all of my European companies and my marriage in this
battle so I am ready to take on anything. Be my guest.
I reiterate my offer to settle our differences for the amount
due to you for unpaid payroll and accrued vacation. If you want
it can be done next
| A divorce is an ugly, unpleasant, emotionally
draining thing, so you do have my sympathies. It is because
of that fact that I will allow you the privilege of the 30 days
delay in this bill you have requested (see what happens when
you communicate). Do not mistake this act of charity as weakness
on my resolve to fully collect the amount the State of California
says you must pay, including the penalties. If I have to bankrupt
what is left of Interplay, then I will.
I expect a check from you for $17,192.65 on or before November
| I am not interested in your sympathies.
We will not have that kind of money. I reiterate my offer to
settle for just under $10K as payment of your unpaid salary
and accrued vacation.
Let me know.
|Sorry Bucko, but because you need to
be taught a lesson in business. You are going to get stuck paying
those penalties. If I have to apply a lien, or even if I have
to bankrupt the company to force you to pay the court awarded
settlement, then I will. Your arrogance is just a tad to much
for me to let you off the hook so easily. You need to be penalized
for your arrogance, and the court awarded penalty will do nicely.
You had your chance. I made you a fantastic offer on 12/28/2004.
Even now, your ego is so inflated it isn't funny. Miraculous
turnaround my foot, you've done nothing but tank Interplay.
I saw the lousy business deals you've cut and with whom. Everybody
else saw it coming, too. People told you, but you still arrogantly
believed you knew better. Well, today they were right, and the
sorry state you now find yourself in proves you were wrong.
Yet, you still cling to the concept that you've done a great
job. Tell me, did you and former Disney exec Paul Pressler go
to the same business school?
Sorry to burst that bubble of yours, but it was, in fact, your
actions that tanked the company. Shutting down Black Isle and
let those developers with their great ideas go was bad. Your
limited vision of what games would be popular crippled the company
beyond comprehension. Failure put a product on store shelves
for the 2003 xmas season was downright stupidity.
Do not think that just because you've still got one little office,
and hired some firm to put up the web pages I wrote, and not
paid any of the lawsuits on the deals you've brokered and then
broke, means you accomplished a "turnaround". Liquidating
intellectual franchises isn't a turn around, its strip-mining.
You had your chance to turn Interplay around, but failed to
Granted, some of those mistakes might have been due to your
total lack of understanding of games, gamers, and the American
game industry. Your lack of knowledge of the game industry is
still holding you back, and your own arrogance won't let you
You claim to want to move into the MMORPG arena, but do you
even know what that is or what it means? Do you even know what
the competition is doing, what is coming, what is in alpha or
beta testing? Do you know the complexities of the game mechanics
of the games that made it and the ones that didn't. How about
even the costs involved? Do you even know how long development
is for a MMORPG?
Don't cry me any crocodile tears over the losses you and your
incurred over your European holdings. How many companies have
you bankrupt and run into the ground? You have nobody to blame
It long since time you owned up to your incompetencies. French
and American investors both know of your poor decisions and
rotten deals. Interplay will never rebound, not at least with
you at the helm. Your reputation proceeds you, precluding any
real chance at possible investment, and your arrogant stance
on so many issues isn't helping - this one included. You've
been vilified in the court of public opinion, and trying to
weasel out of paying a court awarded settlement time and time
again, isn't helping to overturn that view. Instead of rising
to challenge as a great leader and savvy
businessman, you continue to sulk in the shadows of Eron inspired
executive privilege and corporate malfeasance.
Sorry, but in light your stance of refusing to pay those penalties,
I guess this will have to walk down the long hard road of court
battles, liens, and other such legal avenues.
|You are very funny and seem to know
better than me then....
If you change your mind, my offer still stands.
|Why, thank you. I try to be funny, and
considering the multitude of mistakes you've made, it must seem
that I do know more. Regarding the game industry, I suppose
So, you'd rather declare bankruptcy
than pay the penalties. Wow, your arrogance knows no bounds.
No wonder you've ran your companies into the ground.
You should leave the business world
since you're not very good at it, and try something less complicated,
like hot dog vending. The "Hot Dog on a Stick" in
the Irvine Spectrum is hiring. Out of the goodness of my heart,
I'd be willing to act a personal reference for you should
you decide ask for an application. We'll keep the job you
did at Interplay to ourselves, its best they don't know.