Is the Loom Network drama settled now?
One of Loom Network's former employees recently leaked information about the company's Kickstarter-funded game, Relentless (also called Zombie Battleground). The leak alleged that the project, and potentially the entire Loom Network, were no longer actively being developed. The former employee, who has not worked for the company in over a year, claimed that the issues largely stemmed from Loom's former CEO, Matthew Campbell. Campbell left Loom in Feb. 2020, and was replaced by a new CEO.
"Dilanka accessed our Kickstarter account without authorization and sent out that rambling update," Vadim Macagon, the current CEO of Loom Network, told Cointelegraph on Sept. 24. "He was let go almost a year ago because he started behaving erratically, and was quite open to some of his team about his drug use (and not just the drugs he mentioned in the update he just published)."
A Sept. 24 tweet from tech expert Bruno Skvorc notified the public of an email sent out to backers of the Relentless project. Cointelegraph reached out to Skvorc for further details, and received a link to the email in question. The email came from "Dilanka," who worked in the project's growth and marketing department.
Dilanka asserted that both projects were dead, "or at the very least, currently on life support in the middle of an unpleasant pivot focused on healthcare."
Loom conducted its initial coin offering, or ICO, in 2018. On May 9, 2020, rumors circulated about Loom's potential demise, as evidenced by a lack of communication from the project on various channels. Loom responded to the article through Twitter, asserting the company was still very much alive, but wading through a transition into government and healthcare-based enterprise blockchain work. According to Dilanka, the company has not come forward with any new developments since May 26. Loom's Twitter account, however, uploaded a number of tweets since that time, including a roadmap for the year which was posted on June 30.
Relentless' downfall, and Loom Network's alleged failure as a whole, resulted from "lack of product market fit, mismanagement of resources, incompetent leadership from the founders, and a lack of appreciation and transparency toward you, the community who entrusted us with you hard earned money," Dilanka said, giving his opinion on the situation.
"I (along with many of our former team) was let go almost a year ago, and the fact that I still have access to this Kickstarter account (which I clearly shouldn't) is another good example of the incompetence I am talking about."
Dilanka, who somehow maintained access to the Kickstarter account associated with the game, said he has received notice of incoming questions about Relentless over the past year from backers looking for updates.
Dilanka went on to cite a number of issues around the Loom Network, including a lack of communication, as well as questionable actions from former Loom CEO Matthew Campbell.
One example includes Campbell allegedly terminating development on Relentless in 2019, without telling funders, as well as making sure the news did not surface publicly. Loom Network reportedly put more than $1.5 million into building Relentless.
Dilanka, however, provided a disclaimer:
"I don't know what kind of pressure he [Campbell] was under by investors or what his story is as this is purely my own opinion based on my limited, one dimensional interactions with him as a 'team member' of Loom via Slack. In fact, take all of what I say with a grain of salt — I could be 100% wrong about everything. Do your own due diligence and make up your own mind. But yes, had I not worked remotely and Matt was within proximity, I would have happily punched him in his very punchable face to soften his keyboard warrior tendencies in the interest of teaching him some manners... and yes, I made sure to tell Matt (and Luke et al.) [other Loom brass] how I felt about him when things started to go south."
Loom Network's current CEO, Macagon, provided insights from the other side of the table. "I'm not going to comment on the outright slander against Matthew Campbell, instead, I'll focus on the facts," he said. "Dilanka didn't lie about the fact that Loom spent more than $1.5 million USD on the game, after all, it was part of our core thesis during the first stage of our startup." Macagon explained the Kickstarter funding resulted in less than $300,000.
The company put the aforementioned $1.5 million toward constructing "a playable real time game running fully on chain with its own APIs and block explorers," Macagon said. Relentless boasted an entire experience built on blockchain. More than $200,000 of the $1.5 million was used for marketing — the department in which Dilanka worked.
"We didn't sell any cards over a few dollars, host any NFT auctions, nor engage in any crypto style fundraising," Macagon said. Relentless stood as the result of significant time and effort by the team, in part evident in the project's Github activity. Public appreciation, involvement and popularity never caught on, however, the CEO explained. He said that despite the team trying all conceivable approaches, success proved elusive, spurring the company in a different direction while leaving the game behind.
"I understand that drama is always interesting, but compared to most of the drama in the crypto space, ZombieBattleground is just a normal startup failure," Macagon said, adding:
"I can understand Dilanka's frustration to a certain extent, though I don't understand the state of mind that led him to access our Kickstarter account without authorization, and then publicly admit to breaking contracts and potentially laws. Dilanka is no whistle-blower, he's just high on something."