Inside The Ghosting, Racism, And Exploitation At Game Publisher Nicalis

Really interesting read about the state of Nicalis, had no clue stuff was going on there.

As a small aside, it’s always funny seeing how (G)amers react to stories with anonymous sources like this one. The line between good and bad journalism to them seems to be about the opinions the person has and not whether or not they report accurately… or they’d realize Jason has yet again put in work and has the inside scoop needed to consistently drop bombshells like this.


I was already pretty distrustful of Nikalis knowing what they did with Cave Story and it’s creator(eroding the IP rights away from him until he lost it completely), but I wasnt expecting to see that guy talking like a shitty 12 year old in those Skype logs. Good Lord.


I mean its almost bizzare to see gamerbros go to bat for a publisher as terrible as Nicalis. I mean, who the fuck likes Nicalis? Of course, defending racism is the point, so i’m not so surprised, but like when they aren’t even defending a publishing house worth a damn, it becomes so transparent.


I’ve heard lots of things around the periphery about Nicalis over the years, including from a couple of friends that interfaced with them directly

It’s nice to see someone finally putting a spotlight on what a nasty, weird company that can be, though to be honest, I was kind of hoping for an even greater exposé.

Some of the things I’ve heard about Nicalis date all the way back to 2011; I remember there being a Tigsource thread that started out talking about how Tyrone had jerked around Nifflas for the development of Night Game/NightSky, after which it turned in to a general “don’t work with Nicalis if you can help it” warning thread. People in the right circles have known they were bad news almost since the start of the company, so you’d think there’d be a lot more to dig in to and unpack.

That’s not to say Schreier did a bad job, just that I have a feeling there’s more to say on this subject.

I’ve seen enough people on Twitter say they heard even more stories like this about Nicalis that it makes me think that Jason Schreier’s article is just the tip of the iceberg. Couple of examples:

CW: abuse, alcohol

Can confirm the pressure drinking extends beyond employees into potential parties and even media people.
Two different friends have been pressured into ridiculously dangerous levels of booze. One was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.


The one friend I had that worked there bolted after one trade show where they were mocked and put down non-stop for several days. It left them with anxiety attacks they’re still dealing with.


The “new to the industry” thing always gets to me because that’s basically what happened to me and several other folks I know.
New to the industry and want to do something they are passionate about. Company puts them through an absolute wringer until they either burnout or get fired because they are no longer good at their jobs.
Some ones with more stamina than smarts stay.

It’s the reason the average career length in this damn industry is only 5 years. We burn people out before they even get a chance to get their footing.


What’s the story here? Did they hurt Pixel??

That’s the alt right conundrum. They gotta fight every battle they find with everything they can, or it would become clear how few and fringe they are. Just goes to show the power organization and political action.

The difference is that we fight actual power, structures that can resist and push back with unproportional strength. The alt right just attack us, some of the most vulnerable and some already isolated or shunned from the power structures.

He said what they did in the post: take the rights of Cave Story from him. His follow up game, Kero Blaster, included some subtle jabs at the company.

This has been enlightening because I knew none of this. Cave story is my spouse’s favourite game ever but we haven’t checked in on anything involving it since the english patch came out over a decade ago.
I don’t follow the industry closely and I’m torn about that because it would be good to know this about nicalis a long time ago, but there is also just so much to be aware of that the idea of trying to follow it all is daunting.
I’ll think about this whenever I get on a high horse about people enthusiastically supporting something I feel like everyone should know is hella suspect.

The original Cave Story isn’t developed nor published by Nicalis, so you can still play the game without supporting them. Not just that, but the original is freeware. Nicalis’ versions add new sprites and modes and such but the original is still just as incredible. It can be downloaded here.