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Lanzer's Journal
Rough waters ahead
Apologies it’s been a while since my journal update. The last few updates had all been made on the Gaia pledge pages and I’ve been spend more time fighting fires than anything else. It’s hard to take time out from work to write, and it’s especially hard to write when there’s only bad news to share.

Since the day me, CP, L0cke and Bluecow returned to Gaia, we had the strategy to divide and conquer. CP and Bluecow work on external projects to bring in more revenue or investments, while me and L0cke focus on Gaia itself and continue serving the community. The team tried a number of projects from Lucky Live, Hi Pop, PocketCon, to making more mobile games. Back in 2018 PocketCon picked up a lot of interest from investors, and things were looking promising with potentially more money for us to create new projects.

We kept trying different projects because we were faced with a simple challenge. We wish to grow as a company, but we don’t want to put more pressure onto existing Gaia members for funds. If we can have additional business that generate revenue, then we could simply focus on making features and events for Gaia, stop placing any focus on revenue projects and be the community that Gaia once was.

In mid 2018 Bluecow had several Chinese investors lined up and things were looking good, our teams had been pushing ahead with having 3 projects running at the same time, and each project has a lot of promise.

But things started taking a turn for the worse as tension between China and the US continued to build, and China’s economy continued declining. Within a few months the promised payments from each investor were delayed due to their funds being cut short. The company made a few loans to make ends meet while we waited, but eventually figured out that the investment funds were not happening, and we were in a pinch.

As matters were getting worse, it was the day for the big Gaia server migration. Gaia Online faced a lot of issues and instabilities, which end up hurting our revenue at a time of need.

At the end, we did the only thing that were were allowed to do, which is to cut any of the external teams to make ends meet. During this transition, funds were short, and payments to everyone were delayed. All founders cut our salaries by half, and took out money from our savings to help pay for everyone else’s salary, and other staff members also had a paycut to make ends meet. But as of today, we are still several weeks behind in payment. Reason being that during any layoff, the company still responsible to pay off any vacation time and other outstanding costs, which set us back by about a month.

As of today Gaia is cash flow positive, meaning that we make more money than the expense of running the company. However we still need to catch up in back pay, as well as a few loans that were made.

Gaia as a company is safe, but we are under a lot of pressure to catch up in back pay. Most staff members were very understanding of the company’s situation, but there are a number of staff that need every paycheck to make ends meet, so as a company we put this pressure on ourselves to make things right for our staff members.

It will take a few months for Gaia to stabilize and catch up in payments.

Meanwhile, we are still focused on the Gaia projects that means the most to us, which is the upcoming holiday event, as well as the Gaia mobile app. The Gaia rewards program was just released as a replacement for the GC bonus system, which hopefully will help speed up our recovery.

In the meantime, I hope that you can be patient with us, as we get back on our feet and continue building Gaia for you. We are lucky and grateful to be able to do what we love as a full time job, and we will continue working as long as we can.

User Comments: [34]
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 10:35am

Great to see we are positive this month.

Although I do wonder if the constant diversion of staff into several different gambles is the most stable way to move forward? Seems taking many gambles and having most fail has always had habit of hurting in the past (Regarding essentially all external projects such as social media games, new sites, etc).

Whilst it makes sense to consider new revenue streams, I still wonder how much better these gambles are compared to stabalising the mobile app, and looking to bring new blood back to core gaia.

I am happy to keep making gaia pledges, but gaias habit of taking external gambles seems to always have a history of wasting resources and ultimatly costing money. I of course could be missing information and am interested if any external project has as much as broken even.

Very much appreciate the share information, people are a lot more understanding when there is information to understand. I'm sure if you keep open, users will keep understanding. Thanks for all you do for us as a community.

Anamosa Valentine
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 01:46pm

Oh, so that's what happened that brought about the server migrations! Thank you for putting that down in your journal. It brought back a bit of my morale. I think it's better that you continue to be this open to the community so they'll know what's going on with Gaia Interactive and that, the support they're giving through pledges and GC purchases aren't going to waste.

Business ventures are always risky. You don't know what the future holds, you might win big or you could lose it all. You could minimize risk by moving towards better understanding of the environments to play safe bets and help Gaia grow. And listen to your users for a change to keep them happy. It's good to hear that things are positive for now. I hope your future decisions for this site from now on won't be met with bad luck.

Geminai Mistario
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 02:42pm

Hey Lanzer I know this was really hard for you to write and be open about, but thank you for this. I'm relieved that the website is positive for now, and sorry to hear that there's a need to catch up on paying employees. It's hard for myself (and likely others) to realize how bad things really are, but it makes me as a customer feel much more confident about how my money would be used if I make more purchases.

I'm sorry that there were pay cuts among the layoffs, but that is a strong sign of morals. It sounds like you really are doing what you all can to try and keep things right now in a very hard time. Hopefully there will be more positive things to come in the future.

Thank you for the commitment you and the team have given the community.

Lunar Lantern
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 04:19pm

So glad that things are looking up. Thank you Lanzer and team for your dedication to this site.

Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 05:39pm

I appreciate your honesty Lanzer, and I believe in you and the rest of the team.

fhuk it bai
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 06:00pm

Now that you're "cash flow positive" that can help you back pay the staff you guys laid off, you guys should no longer be in "the red" or "the black" right?
But in the "positive blue"?

Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 06:22pm

Thanks for letting us know what has been going on. I really hope the site can pull through and get back on its feet again.

Admin Lead

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 07:19pm

Sorry I copy and pasted page 1 but page 2 was missing. The whole journal is now posted.

Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 07:51pm

Wow, thank you for sharing this! Im glad Gaia is in the postive, hope you guys are able to pay off those who are left.

Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 07:54pm

Thank you very much for the update. I'll definitely be linking this to other users, as they need to see your thorough and well-written post. I'm sad the company is in this situation, but you're doing everything right and as long as Gaia is safe, I'm fairly happy. Well, I hope all of the missing staff are okay with the arrangement too, like you say.

I will note, that this didn't appear in my feed, despite being subscribed. If there's a bug there, it might take a while for this to circulate.

Maybe get ItAmy to write something for us all to worry less, next time? She's active and sweet, and posts where everyone can see her even when it's not staff announcements. Maybe just telling her generally what to write, so she can do it and you can work on things? Delegate announcements like this so that we're better informed? It'll reduce drama to see consistent updates from staff, as it feels like users forget ATS exists. There's also a lot of users I run into that aren't aware of Staff Updates, or have never used Journals. *headdesk*

Thank you for post this again, and for posting when you make bug fixes. Those bug fix posts definitely calm the waters, I'm absolutely sure of it. Seeing anything that even resembles a changelog makes people feel like there is progress and hope.

starkissed moon
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 10:13pm

Thank you, Lanzer. Please don't keep us in the dark much. The community wants to help you. This should be made into a community update announcement so it goes sitewide for those who don't read your journal.

Ora Serphanta
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 10:37pm

Thank you and everyone for working hard to keep us together! heart

little bunnies
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 10:47pm

Thank you for your transparency. These are difficult times but it's somewhat reassuring to know what's going on behind the scenes. I'll be rooting for you. Here's to better days! 🤞

Moose on Molly
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 11:05pm

Thank you for the transparency, it means alot to be able to have some light shone on the situation.

I hope you can keep it up in the future. It's what let's us actually understand what's going on and that helps keep the condemnation to a minimum.

I hope you guys can catch up without much problems and get out of this danger zone that we've been in.

Reve Casse
Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 11:13pm

I saw you were on late last night. I know it couldn't have been easy to write this Lanzer. Pretty sad to see politics and the world economy has even played a part in what is happening with Gaia. Some very tough decisions ended up having to be made. May the rough waters recede, with better days ahead.

A gentle suggestion -- Perhaps this would be better as a site wide announcement so all members of the site are informed. It may go a long way to calm some of the userbase down if they were informed. Many do not subscribe to your journal. It may cease the spread of speculation and half truths, which only adds fuel to a fire.

Many of us know you are trying to get Gaia back to a better place after the damage that was done by past management. You have our support and loyalty.
Thank you for all you and the team do. Together we can do this. heart

Community Member

Sat Feb 02, 2019 @ 11:28pm

Love you dude. Please keep Gaia going the best you can.

I've been a huge fan of this site since 06 and seeing what the last guys did to it was utterly depressing. I really hope you can bring it back to life - In whatever ways you can.

New features, new mini games would be great. New chances to do things like Cross-stitch and having the community itself actually join in and help create new things would be wonderful.

fox wedding
Community Member

Sun Feb 03, 2019 @ 01:45am

Thank you for the update. Onwards and upwards!

Daffodil the Destroyer
Community Member

Sun Feb 03, 2019 @ 04:16am

Thank you for sharing all this info with us. I personally feel better about supporting a project when I'm able to get updates on how things are going and what the creators are working on. I've had less available to spend on GC lately and haven't been spending much outside my angel subscription, but if there's an update showing you guys are short of the month's goal, then that might influence me to toss some cash your way if I have any to spare at the time. ninja

Community Member

Sun Feb 03, 2019 @ 11:10pm

Thanks for continuing to work hard for this community. Make sure to give your body (and remind the other staff) some nutrition and rest as well. emotion_brofist

Community Member

Sun Feb 03, 2019 @ 11:30pm

Thank you for this update and transparency. These are the kinds of answers we really like to see. Perhaps sharing this with more users would help more understand in a time where folks are on edge about Gaia's future that was starting to look more promising with OGs like yourself returning. I've been on this site since 2007, and I started being an angel subscriber despite lack of site use because I hope it works out for you guys, and we can return back to the way things once were here.

Community Member

Mon Feb 04, 2019 @ 07:46am

Thank you for writing all of this. Please continue to keep us informed and tend to all things concerning your company that could reflect badly on it. These are the much appreciated entries that greatly needed with consistency.

Community Member

Mon Feb 04, 2019 @ 11:09pm

In mid 2018 Bluecow had several Chinese investors lined up and things were looking good, our teams had been pushing ahead with having 3 projects running at the same time, and each project has a lot of promise.

But things started taking a turn for the worse as tension between China and the US continued to build, and China’s economy continued declining. Within a few months the promised payments from each investor were delayed due to their funds being cut short. The company made a few loans to make ends meet while we waited, but eventually figured out that the investment funds were not happening, and we were in a pinch.

so gaia's issues are trump's fault? i didn't think it was possible to hate our shitty excuse for a president more than i already did. domokun stargate

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Community Member

Wed Feb 06, 2019 @ 01:24am


Community Member

Thu Feb 07, 2019 @ 08:49am

Informative update.

I do wish for you to send an email to the previous Artists and Developers and let them know the situation. They are in the dark and concerned.

Community Member

Sat Feb 09, 2019 @ 03:57am

Your job isn't easy, and I do not envy the situation you're in now. There is no growth without struggle though. I believe in you, and this website. Keep trying your hardest, success will come. A lot of us are still behind you, despite a lot of the negative rhetoric you probably see day in and day out from some of the users. heart

Community Member

Sat Feb 09, 2019 @ 05:33am

"Gaia as a company is safe"—phew! I'm stoked to hear that!

I've got faith in y'all<3

Community Member

Tue Feb 12, 2019 @ 06:09am

Bless you guys. heart

Community Member

Thu Feb 14, 2019 @ 11:55pm

We appreciate all you've done pulling this up by the bootstraps. Let's work together to keep this going!

Xiled Realms
Community Member

Fri Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:49am

Hang in there Lanzer, I know how tough times can be. With all your's and the staff's hard work.

I had a idea but then I've been seconding guessing it, but I know those working there need paycheck to paycheck. So the idea was why not let some of us Gaians help out in ways. The funding pages are cool, but some of us like myself are unable to spend money. Maybe make it where we can gain some special status but allow us to help take the workload off you guys. I mean sure you would need people who knows a few about coding and other stuff but you could make like a many applacation thing. Let us fill it out and you figure out who would be able to help. Of course interviews and such can happen if you see it needed. Of course with time being small for windows and you have bigger projects to work on, was just thinking maybe that we could do more for you guys since you guys work so hard for us.

Hints why I was second guessing if that would work. If it was hard understand what I meant, here's simple terms. We can work for you guys for free and in-return we just get a item or some odd symbol to show that we went as far to help the site stay alive. It be rather cool to help the site that kept my mind sain during my teenage years.

Community Member

Sat Feb 16, 2019 @ 06:03pm

Thank you for posting this, as members of this great community, this transparency helps greatly to understand what's been going on behind the scenes. I really do hope the site stays afloat and that you guys will be able to catch up and surpass the quota so that the company continues to thrive. Wish I could do more to support you all and the artists as well, so I'll keep doing what I can. Best of luck and thank you! emotion_bigheart

Lord phalkorn
Community Member

Fri Feb 22, 2019 @ 03:09pm

rolleyes So. What's new? It's now the 22/02/2019,,
"asking for money" or should I say donations" ,,
regards like minded people such as me, who enjoy coming here,,
it Can be abit of a struggle, As we all suffer from debts,,, but when it becomes to finding money then that's when it starts to become not fun anymore,I understand that it's businesses,
But to people in general, who come here ,its Not about business,,So when asking upon our fellow subjects such as my self and many others,,regards Asking for donations,, It becomes rather Stressing, in the sense of,,,there's All ages of people here,,,And some do not have money ,so When buying items with pretend money, it's "fun",, and it's abit of, "escapism,, but when putting obstacles in the way ,such as stopping people from being creative,,,coz to buy certain items, you need to have cash real cash to use a card to buy things,,, and not been able to buy certain items because of the reality check,, Is ,,money? This is not real ,"GAIA"is a place to escape? ,But in reality, What your asking for is money?,,, so. What is next?,, you decide,,,,nothing is free in life,,,so what do we get. What do I get.,,,remember this is not "real",,, but when you start paying for things with real cash,,Then its so not "fun" know more and puts a damper on things.

Id like a Devil Tail
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questing for devils tail
needing to raise gold
set up trade if you can help
or if you feel you would like to donate
the sealed mail of the devils tail
or the devils tail, its self,
that would be so kind if you could
Demonic Citrus Angel
Community Member

Thu Mar 21, 2019 @ 08:27pm

gaia_angelleft I know your busy. Keep up the good work! gaia_angelright

Angels In Trenchcoats
Community Member

Mon Mar 25, 2019 @ 08:05am

daily treat keep getting come back later

Community Member

Tue Aug 13, 2019 @ 10:54pm

I'm sorry to hear this. Thank you all for working so hard.

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User Comments: [34]
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