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Second Dimension Responds, Raises More Questions on Shaky Kickstarter for Socks the Cat

Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill

In my previous article on this situation I brought up concerns that I gained after inquiring on the legal situation of Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill for the Super Nintendo.  This unreleased game has just surfaced on Kickstarter under the “Second Dimension” account so I contacted them late last week to inquire on the situation.  I was met with responses to the tune of they can’t reply due to “privacy policy” replies.  Earlier today, I had a rather public “discussion” with someone named Adam Welch who claims to be the owner of Second Dimension games (the planned publisher of Socks the Cat).  Now, there are a few things that need mention but that comes after the jump- trust me, you will want to read this.

According to Adam Welch my previous article was, “One of the poorest journalism jobs ever. Dude never contacted me and went with a slam piece based on his personal agenda. More than half of what he wrote is wrong” Yet he offers absolutely nothing to “correct” anything I wrote in my initial article.  It is simple, provide proof of anything I said wrong and it will be corrected immediately and if bad enough, a public apology will be given- I have no problem admitting when I am wrong but I do have a problem being called a liar with no proof.  I made this same offer to the RETRO Video Game System/Coleco Chameleon team and they never accepted it but were quick to call me a liar repeatedly.  If I am wrong, prove it and I will correct it.  Simple.

Apparently I asked to speak to Tom (Curtin? It is never made clear who this “Tom” is) when I contacted whomever is running the Second Dimension Kickstarter campaign.  My screen cap of that comment seems to state I simply asked for information on Tom Curtin and his acquisition of the rights to Socks the Cat.  Since I did not know that Tom Curtin was involved with Second Dimension, or this Kickstarter I find it rather troubling that I somehow specifically asked to speak to him (the screen shot below doesn’t lie but I apparently do).

Kickstart_Message_001

Keep in mind, it does not state anywhere on their Kickstarter (as of this writing) that Tom Curtin is managing the campaign or that he is involved with Second Dimension in any capacity other than “owning” the game and apparently rights to release it.

Again on Facebook we have Adam Welch stating something rather interesting about the Kickstarter campaign – “It’s clearly states that I’m the publisher of the project, Tom is the owner, so he would be the one running the campaign.”  This raises my next question in this series.

Who is actually in control of the Socks the Cat Kickstarter campaign?  Is it Tom Curtin and not Adam Welch, the owner of the company whose name is being used on Kickstarter?  That would mean that any money pledged would go to Tom Curtin and not directly to Second Dimension, correct?  Am I missing something here?  Shouldn’t this Kickstarter campaign be under Tom Curtin’s name and not Second Dimension (who is just “the publisher” as stated above?).

I have asked about Hiroshi Kaneko a few times now (Kickstarter private message, on Facebook and on AtariAge).  This man apparently raises the ire of Adam Welch, Tom Curtin and Second Dimension (as they don’t label who it is responding).  I am not sure why.  If they have a contract in place with the man then why is it so hard to simply say they do?  Instead they are dancing around the question and only raising more questions and calling me a liar (only stating they will address my article AFTER the Kickstarter is finished- rather convenient).

Let’s drop over to the AtariAge forums, post #18 specifically.  This is a lengthy response by dra600n, Adam Welch I take it?  He states right off the bat that the rights have been acquired (and it is conveniently noted on the Kickstarter page).  Not disputing “Second Dimension” on Kickstarter is SAYING that.  I am simply asking about some form of verification to that end.  Not asking to see contracts, not asking for phone numbers of those involved, just asking if one person is involved in this “owning of the rights” and Second Dimension have done nothing but dance around the question and do everything but answer with a simple “yes” or “no”.  Why is that so hard to say?  If you are doing this Kickstarter legally then you should have no problem saying “yes” or “no”.  I know, “privacy policy” or is it “competitive advantage” today?  If you have a contract in place then neither party can get out of it without some form of repercussion so what are you worried about by stating who you got the rights from?  Maybe there is no paperwork?

Also on the AtariAge thread he states that he released a video of the game in action and showed certain outlets private screen shots of Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill in action.  I am not on an agenda regime here like they claim, I am simply wanting to know why those pictures and that video are not ON THE KICKSTARTER page where you are asking people, fans, to pony up their cash to you to help make this a reality.  That is VERY odd to me.  Very odd.

Update before hitting publish, they have updated the Kickstarter page with videos of the game in action and a couple more advertisements.  Had this stuff been available from the beginning, rather than being kept private for certain media, then that whole part of the discussion would not have been even brought up.

Interestingly, dra600n didn’t even provide a link to the video he released last night (released to me means “public”).  It is also, as of this writing, not on the Kickstarter campaign page (update to say, there are now two videos on the Kickstarter page, congratulations there Second Dimension).  Again, very odd.  They want $30,000 in funding but cannot perform simply things like provide a video of the game, screen shots and the like.  Why are you keeping screenshots and videos of the game that you apparently have the legal right to release, “private” and away from the very people you are wanting to give you money?  Very odd.  Not sure why it took over 10 days of this campaign in progress to get something that should have been there from day one.

My article is also accused of being a “slam piece” from start to finish by dra600n.  Not a slam piece, just wanting answers.  I stated early on in the first article, I smell something foul with the Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill Kickstarter and I am simply trying to find out what is going on.  If that defines a “slam piece” then the Internet is full of them.

I do see that my previous article has forced them to update the FAQ section of their Kickstarter campaign. It now features a canned question about the nine month window for the game to be in the hands of backers.  They have also updated the FAQ with information on who is doing what as far as this Kickstarter (since I did not take screen caps prior, I can only state that was not there when I initially wrote my article and leave it at that).  They also have a small disclaimer about the roles of Tom Curtin and Second Dimension, on a Second Dimension branded Kickstarter campaign.  I have now taken screen caps of the whole Kickstarter page (all discussions pertaining to this also) for verification later as this story develops and changes are made.

Look, I am just a journalist following a story.  I cannot help it that that story happens to bother some people.  I just want the truth, why is that so hard to obtain?

Carl Williams

It is time gaming journalism takes its rightful place as proper sources and not fanboys giving free advertising. If you wish to support writers like Carl please use the links below. https://www.paypal.me/WCW

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2 Responses to “Second Dimension Responds, Raises More Questions on Shaky Kickstarter for Socks the Cat”

  1. TIger says:

    I don’t get this.

    ” It is simple, provide proof of anything I said wrong and it will be corrected immediately and if bad enough, a public apology will be given- I have no problem admitting when I am wrong but I do have a problem being called a liar with no proof.”

    It seems like these guys have addressed most of your concerns directly on the Kickstarter site. You acknowledge this in an *update* in the final few paragraphs of your article, but have yet to issue a retraction or apology. Just a strikethrough font of things you were going to ask, that apparently had already been addressed right before you hit publish.

    So anyone reading the first 3/4 of this article, or your previous article, or even just browsing the titles of both of them – might walk away with a pretty bad impression. Strikethrough font is not a retraction. Is that responsible journalism?

    It seems like you’ve researched and done some great writing for this community. Please don’t take my comments in a combative way – it just seems like when most of your initial concerns were addressed, you didn’t follow up on your promise above.

    • Carl Williams says:

      Thanks for the reply. I am not taking your comments in a combative manner, far from it.

      First, the strike through text comment. I did it that way because when I covering the RETRO Video Game System (later the Coleco Chameleon) the “founder” of that fake console accused me of editing my articles to reflect badly on him after he made statements. Since I do not do that, never have, I decided to do the strike through text on a portion of this article where information was changed after publication of this article.

      Thank you for feeling what I am providing is “responsible journalism”. It is certainly hard to do in today’s world of hundreds of thousands of sites just jumping on the bandwagon of whatever is hot at the moment without any investigation on their part.

      I will be going through this and the previous article and comparing the concerns I had, the ones that were addressed and not addressed, and providing a third article that I hope will satisfy all of your, and anyone else’s, concerns on this series.

      My goal is not to rain on anyone’s parade, but to bring to light the details that it seems no one is asking about. Such as the my single question about the last known owner of the Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill copyright/trademark/game code- which has been “dodged” by both Mr. Welch and Mr. Curtin. For me, that is a big red flag and it should be for anyone else thinking about supporting this Kickstarter. Without getting the rights from Hiroshi Kaneko then this is an illegal reproduction- regardless of any money they spent to “finish it”.

      There are still plenty of questions here and plenty of concerns but I will wash the articles and clean away the stuff that has been provided details proving me wrong and we can move forward with the problems left.

      Again, thanks for the comment. I appreciate it that there are readers holding me to my word out there. I just want you to know, I am not backtracking on that – it just takes time to research these things (my first article was a good 10 days AFTER this Kickstarter appeared, that should give you an idea of the depth I goto in research).

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