Touted as an amalgamation of Patreon and crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, BrightLocker, INC. is out of business. Debt for previous development obligations and projects caught up with the company, and BL HoldCo 1 LLC acquired the domain. In an email from a person identifying as "Mark," the latter company announced they now owned and operated brightlocker.com. Mark writes in the email that the new LLC had no responsibility for any missed payments.
"At this time, BL HoldCo 1, LLC. is now the operator of Brightlocker.com. BL HoldCo 1 LLC makes no warranty or guarantee of previous agreements or payments promised by BrightLocker, INC."Justin French, developer of independent studio Dream Harvest, claimed that "[sic] we found out that an email was sent out only to a select number of developers." Despite requests for remuneration, developers noted BrightLocker failed to pay them for months at a time, if they responded at all. French reported to MCV Dream Harvest only saw payment after threats of litigation. In additional emails, now-former CEO Ruben Cortez claimed ignorance of missing payments, but promised to address developers. On March 1, inquiring developers requesting a direct response found the Discord server for BrightLocker deleted sometime overnight. At the time of writing, the company's LinkedIn page still lists Cortez as CEO. French mentioned the frustration to MCV.
"There are a lot of angry developers who haven’t seen a penny or any communication from him and his team."Developers, however, are still free to pursue business with the replacement company. The majority of the terms and conditions are the same, but the new owners removed the virtual currency ('Gold'). Stipulations regarding the sale of products for USD remain.
""We hope you continue to operate your game on the Brightlocker.com site, however, we must notify you of one critical change in the agreement you signed with Brightlocker, INC. The agreement you signed with BrightLocker, INC. is now void. If you choose to continue operations on the site, you are now agreeing to the same terms and conditions with BL HoldCo 1, LLC, with some modifications."For developers, however, Mark provided a sliver of good news. While not making an official public statement, Mark attempted to allay concerns. Mark explained members of the new ownership "are working hard to find a path to allow the concepts and benefits of Brightlocker.com to continue." Regarding monetary compensation to developers from Cortez, Mark added, from their understanding, "most payments were made or would be made in the next week or so."