Alert: Dodgy Director of Game Publishing company, Eduardo Monteiro of TheGameWall Studios steals thousands from multiple business and individuals
This is never a pleasant topic to discuss, but it must be done to help prevent others from falling prey to an alleged one-man career con-artist, named Eduardo Monteiro, operating primarily under the company name TheGameWall Studios (although he has also operated under other company names - so watch out).
If you are ever approached by this individual our advice is to steer clear and certainly never part with any funding or enter into any contract that gives him control of your game in any capacity.
The alleged actions of Eduardo Monteiro has caused huge financial losses to the tune of an estimated $350,000 for both independent game developers, companies and private individuals all because of an apparent disregard for the law, disregard for other people, and simple greed.
It all started (based on information received from our sources) right from the offset with the launch of the company in 2014. His first victim was a small independent game studio based in Portugal, Titan Forged Games who produced a game called Slinki. According to our source the contract between the two was the game publisher would receive 30% revenue share of all agreements, with the studio receiving 70%. Once the game Slinki was released on steam in 2015 the studio was approached by FUZE Entertainment to sub-license the game in exchange for $50,000 as an advanced fee.
Since the contract between the studio and publisher stipulated TheGameWall Studios to handle licensing of the game, the game studio directed FUZE to them to handle the contracts. The advanced fee for the sub-licence was to be distributed (70% to the game studio and 30% to TheGameWall Studios) in 3 stages; $25,000 as an advancement, an additional $15,000 when the games source code was to be handed to FUZE for porting, with the remaining $10,000 after the console release.
The game studio share of this would have been $28,000 after supposed 'taxes' levied on the publisher and their 30% cut. However, Eduardo only paid out $6,298 to the game studio out of a total of $14,000 that should have been paid out on the initial payment from FUZE. Eduardo gave several excuses for delaying the remaining payments right through to this day and he still owes them over $20,262 (after receiving a second payment of $1,439.90 in early 2017).
To think that this small independent game studio put years of hard work into their game only for their hard work to be profited by Eduardo who had minimal involvement in the build and promotion of the game, is wholly undeserved.
On a separate case again involving Eduardo Monteiro, a single mother from Portugal has been in touch with us (who wishes to remain anonymous). This lady had worked on a new project created by Eduardo, named HIVE - a supposed marketing network for distribution through commercial properties. Unfortunately she made several transfers of money from her personal savings to TheGameWall Studios which was to be used for the development of that particular HIVE project. In total she invested €50,000 on the real belief the project was geared for success, had clients lined up and business was doing very well.
However, not only did she never receive any formal documents of ownership for what she invested in (such as share certificates), but she has genuine grounds to suspect he has simply taken that money and spent it directly on himself - and not to advance the business. This is because he closed all contact and failed to show any accounting information of expenditures, which is a repeating pattern as you will see in our next case.
On another case, a new business Force Protocol Ltd entered into a partnership agreement with TheGameWall Studios - having no knowledge of these previous cases taking place. They too invested into TheGameWall Studios in return for equity after seeing that the company appeared to have a good history of securing publishing agreements and publishing games. In total they invested £27,000 in the form of a loan agreement in exchange for 10% of the company equity and for 50% of all future revenues for the duration of the loan agreements. This seemed to be a promising business partnership.
In the early stages of the partnership, Eduardo secured a couple of publishing contracts, with the most successful having been made with Ammobox Studios for 'Eximius: Seize The Frontline' - which you may have heard about their recent legal dispute.
Here are a couple of interesting videos about this particular case, discussed by some prominent gaming YouTube channels;
The situation with this agreement is that TheGameWall Studios was set to receive 35% revenue share of game sales with 50% of that due to Force Protocol Ltd under their partnership agreement (effectively all revenues from Eximius should have been distributed as 65% to the game studio, 17.5% to TheGameWall Studios and 17.5% to Force Protocol). The game was quite successful, generating over $50,000 in game sales. However, to this day not a penny of these sales has been paid to either the independent game studio 'Ammoxbox Studios' nor ‘Force Protocol Ltd’, the technology providers. It means yet again Eduardo has scurried off with close to $50,000 of other people’s hard earned money.
The most distressing factor to the director of Force Protocol, Pete Mardell, is that he provided the utmost personal support to Eduardo and treated him as a friend. For Eduardo to turn around and do this has affected him on a deep and personal level. Not only that but Eduardo also approached Pete for a personal loan of £9,000 right before he went silent and ignored all contact - showing he had intentions of stealing even more from him personally. Thankfully Pete did not provide this personal loan, which Eduardo claimed was for a bogus medical operation.
These are just some of the cases that can be reported openly, other situations that we have been approached about wish to keep it out of the public eye.
So, how is he getting away with it?
Put simply, such an individual can protect themselves legally behind a Limited Company. It means he is not immediately personally liable and to find him personally liable would mean taking such an individual to court. This will incur huge legal costs most likely reaching some $20,000+. This isn't to say that some authorities within the UK can't take action against such an individual (it is possible), and the individuals we have spoken to have confirmed they are looking at all options available in actively trying to bring him to justice. It is, however, a difficult endeavour.
So hopefully at some point, the law does catch up with this individual and justice is served for the victims. At the very least it serves as a warning to avoid engaging in business activities with this individual.
Bottom line; Stay safe and be very cautious who you do business with.