A well-funded company named “Pixie” wanted to build a Viking game with NFT game characters. I was excited about the idea, but it is bankrupt because of bad management and investing 800K of its funding in Luna, which crashed big time after this investment. One of the old employees made a statement in the following discord channel. With the following message:
Message from the employee
This is not going to be a fun announcement. But, it is going to be an honest one. I have finally received the approval to share with you what is going on at Pixie Interactive and Northern Guilds.
As many of you have noticed, our team has been very quiet. (Not because we wanted to, but because things got really really shitty over here.) A nightmare, a tragedy, a dumpster fire, if you will.
First things first. The reason why I and the rest of the community team have been so quiet and weird for the last month is that we got word from Wesley, our CTO, on July 22nd that
Pixie Interactive is bankrupt.
The entire team was notified that we would be losing our dream jobs and livelihoods in ONE WEEK. By July 31st, we would all be out of a job and no paycheck to follow. In addition to losing everything we had been passionately working on for months and the dream of the future. 😭 … So, I am writing this as an unpaid ex-employee of Pixie. The only reason I am here writing this is that you all deserve a HUGE explanation, massive-is-an-understatement apology, and the person who should be writing this (ie. Tom) has disappeared and is not going to, never-mind own the problems and apologize.
Wesley could too, and honesty should, but is dealing with an astronomical financial disaster and has not had the time or emotional bandwidth yet. Not only is Pixie bankrupt, but Wesley is also now personally bankrupt too and looking at over a decade of paying back what is owed to his government. … So here I am, the messenger. I want to be clear that as employees, we have not been able to share anything about this up until now due to our NDA’s/contracts. It has been killing all of us.
Back in February 2022 Tom and Wesley started trying to find an investor or five to complete a funding round. Some of us found it suprising that they were already focusing on this, since we had just secured enough funding a few months prior to get us through 1.5-2 years of development. Eventually, Wesley shared with some of us that they had scaled the team too fast and they needed to get more money to pay salaries to keep the project going.
After attending some conferences in May, it looked like Tom and Wesley had found some potential investors. They were Russian nationals. The global economic landscape and Russian sanctions were named as reasons not to invest. They moved on. … Toward the end of June, things seemed to be looking good. They had found a few great leads and interested parties with verbal agreements (as far as I understand). Apparently, they dropped out because “leadership was a mess” and NG didn’t have a roadmap.
There was a small glimmer of hope until about +-2 weeks ago that might save Pixie, (another reason why we were required to stay quiet about things). Two potential investors were working with Wesley … sadly, they fell through due to a change in mandate, meaning that Northern Guilds didn’t have enough widespread appeal for them to invest in.
Of course, we can also mention the market conditions, but let’s be honest Pixie should have been fine with the funds we raised for 1.5-2 years of runway. So the reasons and stories we were being told weren’t adding up.
Where did all the money go? … There was a lot of weird stuff going on in the background … stuff that as employees we didn’t know how or have the power to confront. I still don’t really know the full truth, but here is what I have been told and have witnessed: …
Our founders put aside a bunch of the tax money in Luna, and they lost it all with Luna’s downfall. Pixie owed roughly 800,000 (as of the end of June 2022) in taxes from what I am told. This decision and eventual loss is why it couldn’t be paid and ultimately why Pixie is bankrupt.
Our founders started (without the rest of the team knowing) another project “NFTVault” not too long after our mint. It quickly failed. While it was out-of-pocket funded from them, Tom ad Wesley shifted their attention away from Pixie for a while,. This is when our upper management and leadership climate started to change and we all felt it.
Tom started completely disappearing on and off in January and February. Our CEO was unable to lead the team, fulfill any deadlines, and effectively communicate or show up for meetings. It got more and more frequent to the point that come May, the team hardly heard from him at all and we lost weeks of work and momentum trying to handle the situation and reorganize roles, responsibilities, and more. …
Excessive business travel was taking place in March, April, and May that seemed unnecessary. Justified by the need to find investors. But, no doubt it was costly and contributed to the financial ruin of Pixie Interactive. Something that many of us found frustrating to watch or understand.
We faced challenges with our Creative Lead, Max Blom, since November 2021. Unable to provide a GDD for months and when delivered it was ultimately incomplete and weak at best, especially for the type of game we were developing. Leaving us with very little direction on how to move forward with the development of our roadmap. He was frequently absent and uninvested as time went on, despite many conversations and opportunities to change. He did try to help us get funding with Tom and Wesley, but with the game development and mechanics side, it was a struggle.
There is more, but these are the most impactful pieces of the puzzle. … So, where we are now:
Pixie Interactive is dead.
We are no longer a company or an official team. Even though many of us still stand together and want to see Northern Guilds rise from the ashes.
Tom abandoned Wesley throughout the majority of the fundraising, bankruptcy, communication, and leadership process. Stringing everyone along with promises that finished work and updates would come soon. Leaving the mess for Wesley (and the team) to clean up behind him. They are both responsible for what has happened. Sadly so far Tom has taken absolutely no ownership of this situation and is avoiding all of the consequences that Wesley is facing. Wesley has been the only one of our founders attempting to support and help the employees through this. He has owned up to what has happened.
Some of the team members are working to get the Northern Guilds IP and assets rescued. So if you want, hold on for that. There is still a glimmer of hope. We don’t want to lose you, our amazing community. But we understand and assume that you are all very pissed off and disappointed. We are too. We don’t want to lose 9+ months of work. We don’t want to lose the Viking hope. We don’t want to lose the world we were creating. It is just too good still. We really believe we had something special here.