Earlier today, I happened across this post at dannychoo.org where Len-Vesper goes on about his “internet battle” with PiQ and how the magazine is closing its doors. Well, while I don’t remember hearing about or witnessing any “battle” and the magazine actually closed down two months ago, that’s hardly the focus of his tirade.
Like many others, Len-Vesper is actually more upset about the messy transition from Newtype USA to PiQ and how subscriptions were handled.
As I read on, I considered leaving a comment on his blog post here, but since I’ve never written at length about it and I got kinda wordy, I just thought I’d post it here on my own site.
So here’s my response. You can read it with the pretense that I’m talking to this guy directly. Use your hands like puppets for a visual aid if you like.
Just happened across this link and sorry to hear about all your troubles with PiQ. I can tell you that it was never our (being the magazine staff) intention to screw anyone out of their money, only to produce a magazine that was both a better quality product than Newtype USA, at least in terms of range of content and versatility. Sure, we figured that most of the old Newtype USA subscribers wouldn’t be into it, but it was never the goal of PiQ to be a replacement.
Unfortunately, we also had little choice in the matter, as it was either create a new magazine or lose our jobs. It wasn’t easy, and as you can see (although you’re a little late to the party), it didn’t work out so well and we still lost our jobs anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re right to be angry about it. We were all angry about it, because as much as we tried to operate as an independent group, the financial backing and shitty business sense of ADV hamstrung us from the start. Any money from Newtype USA and/or PiQ subscriptions went straight into ADV’s pocket to fix their own financial troubles, and since PiQ was set up as a separate company, anyone still there at ADV can now be free of any fallout from its closure, or so they think.
The team behind Newtype USA and PiQ has now moved on to much, much greener pastures and you know, if you really had a problem with the content and craftsmanship that went into those magazines, then so be it. If you didn’t like the magazine, that’s OK.
But if you’re angry about getting the runaround and ultimately getting shafted, the people to hold accountable are still at ADV and still have your money, so you’d be wise to direct your attention there. I wish you luck in getting your situation resolved.
So, you see, I felt the need to clarify in no uncertain terms that the way things went down wasn’t by our own choosing. A statement like “The new mag was produced by the old staff of Newtype, and they didn’t warn anyone of the move, nor give anyone a choice.” is sad but true, unfortunately, both because the dissolution of Newtype USA and birth of PiQ was just as much of a shock to us as it was to our readers and ultimately, because we had no choice in it either.
Without a doubt, we feel really, really shitty about it all. I have friends and family that I encouraged to check out the magazine and spend money on it. I know people that lost their money on subscriptions too, and of course, we as a staff all lost our livelihoods.
So I’m glad this guy is helping people get their money back. As weird as it might seem, I’m kinda on his side. I know that Newtype USA and PiQ are most likely dust in the wind and no amount of phone calls or e-mails are going to help. In fact, I don’t even know if filing with the BBB would help because those companies are all but hollow shells now. I think anyone’s best bet is to dispute the charges with your credit card company and take your concerns to ADV directly.