With nearly 200 employees losing their jobs, serious debt and a live game to sell, the liquidation of Realtime Worlds was never going to be pretty. However, the actions of the company appointed as administrator, Edinburgh-based Begbies Traynor, since the company folded have been widely viewed as having little or no concern for those affected.
The failure of the administrator to find a buyer for APB as a going concern, the secrecy surrounding the sale of Project MyWorld, the stories about the delays and lack of interest in responding to ex-employees has made the process far more painful for those involved than it perhaps could have been.
The latest news, reported in The Courier, points to employee loans – for technical equipment (PCs) or relocation, which were written off during redundancy, have instead been held back by Begbies Traynor, though the company has apparently agreed to look at cases on an ‘individual basis’.
Tahir Rashid, a workers’ representative, said he was “absolutely disgusted” by Begbies’ attempts to “claw back” money due to him and others. A letter issued to him on being made redundant in August states, “If you have a loan with the company any outstanding payments will be written off at your leaving date.”
“I’m absolutely disgusted that PC loans and relocation loans which had been written off are being taken from us,” Mr Rashid said. “Begbies are in total denial about the discrepancy and have told me that they will look at it on an individual basis.
“We’re not talking large amounts — maybe £600 or £700 — but it’s the point of it. You just don’t do that to people who are short of cash already from being made redundant. Some of these guys have got no money.
“It’s truly a shocking state of affairs. I guess it’s about the money at the end of the day not the people that lost their jobs.”