How Mladen Bošnjak former friend and fellow developer stole his Steam game.
Indie Volt can be a platform to inform & educate as many people as possible in regards to situations that have a potential to cause drastic change (be it for better or worse ) in any industry where there is a large group of independent talent. Recently we were made aware of a situation between two of the developers of the game SICKBRICK a sci-fi FPS action adventure game, that we had planned on bestowing with our “EXTREME VOLTAGE SEAL OF APPROVAL”. Released on Steam in February of 2015 by Maxwolf, Fox & Bošnjak. Game developer Mladen Bošnjak through his dev page Misfit Village released a two-part statement detailing the specifics regarding how he says a former developer on SICKBRICK “Maxwolf” (real name Ron McDowell) locked him out of his Steamworks account (this is where a dev can generate keys for a game, see revenue earned, set up pricing & sales, update storefront graphics, game versions, etc.) and basically screwed him out of monies he would have been due.
Bošnjak and Maxwolf met in 2011 when Maxwolf approached Bošnjak about assisting him with his game Incognito, Bošnjak agreed and went to work designing buildings, enemies, and vehicles for the game. However, he was never paid as promised.
In exchange for payment (probably sensing that it would never come) Bošnjak asked Maxwolf ab
out helping him finish his game SickBrick. Having a large percentage of the game already done, Maxwolf went to work on the games HUD, boss fights & enemy navigation system.
The game was released on Desura through Maxwolf’s then company Magrathean Technologies taking 10% off of all sales
SickBrick was published on Steam in February 2015. Maxwolf resides in Canada while Bošnjak lives in Croatia, both discussed and agreed on Maxwolf signing the contract with Valve deciding it would be much easier for Maxwolf to set up taxes and other legal formalities for Steam publishing. Bošnjak received his first paycheck in March of 2015. [SEE: SCAN OF CHECK STUB TO THE RIGHT.] “$1100.00 USD may not seem like a lot of money depending on where you live, but for me being a student in Croatia this is a year’s worth of rent, food and college expenses,” says Bošnjak. “Releasing SickBrick enabled me to achieve complete financial independence.”
After SickBrick’s sales started to dwindle both Maxwolf & Bošnjak agreed that Maxwolf would send a payment to Bošnjak after a profit of $1000.00 USD was reached.
In November of 2016, much to Bošnjak surprise and later chagrin, he found himself locked out of the Steamworks dev center, and thusly out of the game he had conceived in 2008. When Mladen Bošnjak questioned Maxwolf about his missing credentials he was told he had been removed because he was no longer working with NeoAxis.
He said he removed me from Steamworks because “I wasn’t working with NeoAxis stuff anymore”.
Bošnjak says the last straw was when Maxwolf released the Soundtrack for SickBrick as DLC for the game without informing on consulting with him. “Five of the songs on the soundtrack were composed, performed and recorded in my room using electric guitar and programmed drums by me and a friend of mine from Croatia.”
Bošnjak says he’s lost sleep thinking about how Maxwolf could have done this to him. Bošnjak says that he still wasn’t consulted for permission or otherwise when SickBrick was released on The Microsoft Store.
It’s been a little over 5 months since Maxwolf removed Bošnjak from Steamworks and even unfriended him on Steam. According to Mladen, Maxwolf has also failed to reply to his emails or any other form of contact.
In the meantime, SICKBRICK has surpassed $1000.00 in sales, but Mladen can’t know how much, of course, due to the fact he cannot gain access to any sales figures on Steam, DLC or the Microsoft Store. Mladen reached out to Valve for help, you can read their reply here.
Please CLICK HERE to view the 2-PART informative statement that Mladen Bošnjak has posted to the MISFIT VILLAGE site.