So, there’s been a lot of back and forth about TFYC. Are they trustworthy? Are they feminist? Will this help women get into the industry?
The way 4chan would talk about it, they donated to a charity to help women get into games. TFYC is not a charity, tho. They’re a for profit. They’ve admitted such themselves.
The money raised doesn’t go to charity. Absolutely none of it. It goes directly to TFYC and to Autobotika who they’re hiring to make the winning game. Even if they get more money than they need to make the game. They still get to keep any excess. This is a very important detail.
Matthew Rappard, the founder, says this is to show that games developed by women can be profitable. But remember, the winner of the contest isn’t making the game. Autobotika is. She is just the “idea person” who hands off her idea to them to make.
If the game is profitable, the message sent is not that women can make profitable games. It is that Autobotika can make profitable games. So, how does this help women get into game development?
Well, then Matthew would say that because the woman gets to have the game in her portfolio, it will help her get a job in the industry. There is a problem with this, too. The point of a portfolio is to show a potential employer work you have done. It is a resume of sorts, to convince them that you have the skills they want for the job. An Autobotika developed game does not show the skills of the woman who came up with the original ideas. It shows the skills of Autobotika.
What game development company is looking for an ideas person who has nothing in their portfolio to show that they can execute those ideas? I’ve seen many job listings at game development companies. “Ideas Person” has never been one of them. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps this very moment Bioware or Platinum Games is looking for someone with “good ideas” and is okay with that person having no experience with the work necessary to make those ideas a reality. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
The other women don’t even get that. They essentially have a way to show off their ideas but no game in their portfolio. “I have good ideas!” they can say, but everyone thinks they have good ideas. At least, most people do.
Well, at least the profit will go to helping women, right? No, it will not. Exactly 8% of the net profit will go to the “ideas person”. I suppose this could be a decent amount of money if the game sells well enough. But will it sell well? Autobotika is not a well-known name when it comes to game development. They don’t have a pre-existing fanbase to buy a bunch of copies and to convince others to do so.
Does TFYC intend to advertise the game when it’s ready for release? What are their marketing strategies? Will those come from money already raised or will they be deducted from the gross profit, thus lowering how much the “idea person” gets?
The other 92% goes to charities. So, assuming it sells well (which is a pretty generous assumption), this will help charities a decent amount. So yay, it can still help women get into game development! Except that’s not what /v/ and 4chan want their chunk of the profits to go to. They want their profits to go towards finding a cure for colon cancer. “To cure butthurt” Very mature of them.
So, not only does that not help women get into games, it isn’t even women-focused at all. So much for this allegedly feminist organization.
I don’t know if TFYC is intentionally scamming people or if their complete lack of experience with this sort of thing has resulted in the trainwreck we see today, but it’s clear that the main benefactors of this are Matthew Rappard, TFYC, and Autobotika. Fun Fact: Matthew Rappard is an executive director at Autobotika. Did you know that?
He has an explanation, that he had them list him on the site so he could threaten to sue someone not paying them, something he did out of the pure, loving generosity of his heart. Perhaps you believe his explanation. I do not.
I’m sorry for the folks who donated to TFYC. They’re being taken advantage of in a big way, and they’ve committed themselves so completely to this on an ideological level that I don’t think they can even convince themselves to pull out before it’s too late. I simply hope that after this people will be a little less trusting of TFYC, and of certain websites that helped fund them.
Addendum: This week, Humble Bundle is donating to a charity to give scholarships to women. This would help women get into the industry. Maybe pull your donation from TFYC if you can and give it to Humble Bundle instead? https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly