Jamison Stone & Satine Phoenix's Apotheosis Studio To Wind Down [UPDATED]

After being accused of abusive behaviour towards freelancers and co-workers, the game company run by D&D influencer Satine Phoenix and her husband Jamison Stone, is to enter a 'reduced capacity' mode.

sirens.jpg


After the accusations were made, Jamison Stone resigned as CEO; after a couple of weeks he was added back to the company's staff page, saying that he was never actually removed but merely taking personal time while Apotheosis Studio conducted an investigation.

In a draft of a recent statement obtained by Dicebreaker, Stone indicated that the results of this investigations were that the 'vast majority' of the accusations made were 'factually inaccurate'. He went on to discuss the ramifications of 'cancel culture', although the statement was updated to rephrase that as 'extreme changes'. Other than the initial apology to tattooist Chad Rowe, Stone has indicated that no further apologies will be forthcoming.

“The rest of the team now has completed those investigations and found that while some individuals had legitimate complaints, the vast majority of the allegations to date levelled against Jameson and others on our team have been proven to be factually inaccurate. We believe that people should be shown compassion, given the opportunity to write their wrongs and grow as individuals.”


As for the company itself, it will finish fulfilling existing Kickstarter projects. It will not be accepting requests to cancel and refund pledges for existing funded Kickstarters, and noted that most of the freelancers and contributors have been paid. When asked about the company's future, Stone said "As it stands - and I don’t know what the future will hold - it’s just a company that is there. It just exists and sells books. Some of my books, some books by other people. It will sell The Red Opera and eventually sirens. All of the people who are there are just contracted at this point."

A statement is expected to come soon from Apotheosis.

UPDATE -- Apotheosis Studio's statement has arrived:


Thank you for your patience. We have had a lot of questions about the future of Apotheosis Studios, its team, and our projects. While Jamison Stone did step down as CEO to take personal time while Apotheosis Studios did an internal investigation on the allegations brought forth by numerous individuals, we in no way claimed that we were removing Jamison from the company. Having completed our internal investigation, we have found that while some individuals had legitimate complaints, the vast majority of the allegations to date levied against Jamison and others on our team have been proven to be inaccurate. Jamison will directly address major allegations and misinformation within the month.

We at Apotheosis Studios do not support abuse in any form. We believe in accountability and the ability for everyone to reflect, learn from their mistakes, grow, and be given the opportunity to show what they’ve learned by actively being better through action. We encourage everyone to stand up for themselves in compassionate ways with the hope to make things better so no one has to live in fear. It is in this honesty that we can learn from one another and each be better for ourselves, our families, and our communities while not furthering abuse, bullying, harassment, and other dehumanizing behaviors.

Sirens: Battle of the Bards will be delayed while those who are still working on the project deal with the ramifications of the extreme changes that we have had to make due to this situation. We will be sending out merchandise that we already have in hand for US backers first. Sirens: Battle of the Bards is 90% finished and its contractors have been paid, therefore refunds will not be issued. We will provide additional updates on fulfillment as we know more.

Because there seems to have been some confusion regarding the nature of our operations, we wish to state again that payments to writers started in March 2022 and as new invoices were received, we processed them promptly. All artists and contractors who have completed their work and were authorized for billing have been paid. The only remaining work is rewrites, editing, and layout. This, as stated above, will take longer than originally planned.

For reference: we had the following number of contractors working on this project:
  • Writers - 22 writers. Paid 10 cents per word
  • Artists - 4. Paid monthly or per image
  • Graphic Designer - 1. Paid monthly
  • Layout artist - Paid monthly, even when not working on a project
  • Musicians - 2. Paid promptly per song
  • Sculptor - 1. Paid promptly per sculpt
The Sirens writing Deadline was Oct 31. Approval passes started in November. Unfortunately, the approval passes took longer than expected which pushed out approval for the contractors to bill by 3-4 months. Billing authorization was issued in March of 2022 and we promptly paid all invoices properly submitted to our accountant.

For this project, we provided templates for Adventure Chapters with an 8,450 words max budget. 9 of 22 chapters were over word count
  • 4 over by 1000 words
  • 1 over by 3700 words
  • 2 over by 4750 words
  • 1 over by 7000 words
Despite the fact that many chapters were over the word counts outlined the writers were paid for the overages after appropriate approval. Writers whose writing was not used were still authorized to bill us and were paid 10 cents per word.

For those of you who have reached out with constructive feedback, we greatly appreciate your support and patience. We will have further updates as more information becomes available.

Sarah Urfer
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Ken Whitman was an issue in 2015. It is now 2022.

Think about it for a moment. Who is credible - the guy who runs a bunch of kickstarters today, or someone citing an example from seven years ago?
FWIW, the ToS I've agreed to using Kickstarter this month is significantly different than my first one years ago. So it looks like they are trying at some level to mitigate these issues without being overly heavy handed that could result in more harm to creators than help.
 

jerryrice4949

Adventurer
I feel like there’s so much hyperbolic hate towards thes people from members of the community they’ve never impacted. I get adding your voice to condemnation in support of the aggrieved is helpful, but it also seems, I dunno, embarrassing for you.
I haven’t seen hate but well earned criticism and anger which is fair considering they are both very public figures and have not behaved well or been honest. I also believe in second chances but first someone has to genuinely have remorse and not just because it suits them.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I haven’t seen hate but well earned criticism and anger which is fair considering they are both very public figures and have not behaved well or been honest. I also believe in second chances but first someone has to genuinely have remorse and not just because it suits them.
I could hardly care less whether their remorse is genuine or self-interest, or for that matter, present at all, provided the inappropriate behaviors end and backers and freelancers get their due.

Only time will tell.
 

How they move forward, change, and rectify the hurt they've caused will be the proof of whether they're being genuine or not, ultimately.

I could hardly care less whether their remorse is genuine or self-interest, or for that matter, present at all, provided the inappropriate behaviors end and backers and freelancers get their due.

Only time will tell.
 

aramis erak

Legend
How they move forward, change, and rectify the hurt they've caused will be the proof of whether they're being genuine or not, ultimately.
Not of need; economic hardship/penalty can change behavior without changing hearts and minds... As can fear of hardship. Lack of change, however, would indeed prove both lack of remorse and lack of fear of reprisals civil, social, and/or criminal...
 

JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author
Epic
I haven’t seen hate but well earned criticism and anger which is fair considering they are both very public figures and have not behaved well or been honest. I also believe in second chances but first someone has to genuinely have remorse and not just because it suits them.

In this case, this WAS Satine's second, or even third chance, depending on who you talk to.

I hope, and I mean this in all sincerity, that she's DONE in this industry. Jamison, too, after some of the stories a couple of the freelancers told.
 

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