SFGHQ Head Accuses Retro Staffers of Attempted “Power Play” Takeover
The 17th Sonic Amateur Games Expo will commence tomorrow, but ahead of it, trouble boiling between staff of two prominent websites regarding the event’s long-term administration has spilled beyond the back stage and into public dispute.
It began yesterday when Sonic Fan Games HQ administrator Smidge posted to the website’s front page accusing two Sonic Retro staffers and former SAGE showrunners, InstantSonic and Hero Chao, of attempting a hostile takeover of the long running community event–then planning its sabotage when that takeover failed. In the post, Smidge cites several instances of, in his words, “coincidences” and “personal speculation” as evidence.
“Immediately after (SAGE) 2010 ended, I was approached by Instant to do 2011,” Smidge said. “Since Instant already had two terms as SAGE president, it was time for someone else to have a turn. Instant didn’t seem to like this too much. Coincidentally, this is around the time that problems started arising.”
Those problems included attempts by Sonic Retro to form a partnership and eventually acquire SFGHQ. Both failed, after which Smidge caught wind of a similar event Retro staff had planned last year, called RINGS. Again, the intentions at first were more cooperative than competitive, but Smidge says that too went south:
[….] When RINGS coordination started to go tits-up, and repeated requests to delay SAGE were made, I had to step in and push for SAGE to occur on schedule. We had done a lot of work to organize SAGE2011 with special guests and events – to say nothing of the site itself – and to delay all that and reschedule everyone would have been a fatal move. This is only speculation, but perhaps this fact was not entirely lost to Instant and may have been a motivation for trying to delay everything. I guess if they can’t be at the center of it all, nobody should.
From there, Smidge alleged at least three members of Retro staff, including InstantSonic and Hero Chao, were involved in attempts to discourage participation in SAGE, as well as registering unofficial SAGE accounts on social media outlets.
The remarks have prompted several community members, including those on Retro staff, to respond on the SFGHQ forums. (UPDATE: The thread has since been removed.)
“Next time you decide to scapegoat Instant and Kat, please do more actual research first,” wrote Retro staffer Hapisan, who was named in Smidge’s front page remarks. “Just because you have your knickers in a twist over the fact that it could’ve meant you wouldn’t be so much in power over fangaming, doesn’t mean you should do this.”
Another Retro staffer, Bartman, accused Smidge of protecting this year’s SAGE showrunners, Matt A. Tobin and Tongara. Intermittently in the week leading up to SAGE, public conflict has erupted between the organizers and Retro staff. An apology has since been posted on the SAGE Facebook page.
“You can’t seriously think they can handle any public relations when you have people on the SAGE Facebook and Twitter accounts question what exactly they’re doing,” Bartman said.
“I tell it like I see it, and I tell it ’cause I’m sick of it,” Smidge responded.
Talk between sides, at least publicly, cooled off by the afternoon, amid comments and concerns from those not involved in the conflict that a matter like this stands to damage the reputation of SAGE. But not to worry; SAGE is still on for tomorrow, and we’ll be here to cover everything shown during the event throughout the week.