It was very disappointing to hear, via a recent Facebook message from Dust Studio CEO William Yau, that mediation has been rejected out of hand. To clarify, we have never had any independent third-party mediator try to help us resolve this dispute. The three times we have offered it has been rejected outright. As English is not the first language of several people involved, it’s understandable that the terminology has been a little blurred. But, while there have been attempts at negotiation, nothing resembling external mediation that has taken place.
During the Kickstarter campaign, Paolo Parente agreed to a split of free incentives to be provided partly by Battlefront and partly by Dust Studio. Without being able to predict backer numbers for each pledge level, it wasn’t possible to ensure exactly a 50/50 split of free items, but it was a fair split and the end result worked out fairly evenly.
Battlefront has already sent out the books, cards, templates, the Babylon campaign sets and Operation Achilles models that comprised our agreed portion of the free items. The only free product that we have yet to deliver is the Abandoned Well pre-painted terrain piece, and this is solely because the masters have never been given to us so we could produce them. However, William insists that Battlefront must pay for ALL the free items, regardless of what Paolo agreed.
The only serious suggestion of compromise came from a partner in Dust Studio who suggested we pay ‘cost’ for Dust Studio’s share of the free items, but even that was rejected by William. William’s ‘generous’ counter-offer of a 10% discount to Battlefront on stock that Paolo had agreed would be free did not seem so generous to us.
We have put a great deal of time, effort and expense during the last few years into creating the second edition rules, Dust Tactics Battlefield, new cards and the Operation Babylon campaign book. We committed ourselves 110% to DUST, and the feedback has shown that our work has been well received and appreciated.
At no point have we felt that DUST was not worth the effort. And, despite the dispute, we still feel the same as we did at the start - that it is a great hobby and a good fit with our company.
We will not engage in any public jousting or share confidential information simply to try and score points in the public arena; without all the facts, people see that for what it is and we don’t need to add fuel to the fire.
Setting all the personal attacks and verbal grandstanding aside, this is a business dispute between two companies that has to be resolved professionally for all of us to move on.
We are thankful that Paolo has stated on several occasions that the products are being made and should be finished at the end of March. This gives a little longer to try and come to a compromise to get you all what you deserve and what you signed up for.
Our commitment to this is no less than when we agreed to do this Kickstarter with Dust Studio.
Source - Operation Babylon Kickstarter update