I'm the guy who took over marketing and sales for Avenger Controllers (N-Control) and am cleaning up after Paul Christoforo's explosive mess "on wwebsite as on internet". My name is Moisés Chiullan, and I'm probably nothing like what you might expect.

UPDATE 7: Following his relinquishing the Twitter account, Paul provided us with nothing and negotiated in bad faith, with no intention of giving anything up without substantial compensation. We have regained everything he refused to give up on our own during that process, and can assure all current and future customers that the N-Control castle is once again impenetrable. This thread is stagnant, but I am plowing through to make sure all items raised (not duplicated necessarily) are addressed. Thank you all for participating and listening.

UPDATE 6: I've been focusing on some very time-sensitive items elsewhere, but am still committed to answering everything here to the best of my ability before the New Year. Consider questions closed at midnight tonight US Central Time (please stop asking then so I can catch up).

UPDATE 5 (midnight Friday): Again, this store ain't closing yet. Until I say we're done, I'm still answering stuff.

UPDATE 4: Not shutting this thread down until I catch up pretty well, so keep commenting and asking. Lots to sift through here.

UPDATE 3: I'm a back guys, bear with me as I sift through.

UPDATE 2: At 9:40am CST, I've decided to take a nap. This AMA is not dead, I just haven't slept in two days. Keep commenting and questioning, and consider this thing open until midnight Friday CST. I'm sure there are a lot more questions to be asked.

UPDATE: Mr. Christoforo has very recently become much more forthcoming and helpful regarding a variety of Avenger/N-Control's digital assets that we requested he return a few days ago (as mentioned below in detail). We thank him for his renewed helpfulness.

My twitter feed, where I embarrassingly ask for help posting since I've only ever lurked

The Avenger Controller temp Twitter account

Validation

Comments: 1969 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

Kancklefrug428 karma

(Question about lack of frontpage exposure answered by admin; cause was spam filter bug. I'm still getting people submitting their own theories so I removed it to help people focus on the topic)

As for my actual questions, how did you get into the PR disaster clean up buisness? From what I've read you've been doing this for a while, but how did you become the go to guy for PR clean ups?

Did a client ever ignore any advice you gave, to their detriment? (I understand if you can't go into details about this question)

Other than the customer treatment, did you discover any other glaring PR/marketing blunders when you took over from Paul?

As a professional PR disaster clean up guy, whats your opinion on GoDaddy's responses to the SOPA boycott?

moiseschiu256 karma

I'm a lousy redditor. Lurker only for years. Any help you for anyone can give to get this thing front-paged would be amazing.

I haven't focused just on this kind of thing for a long time. It's a skill that I've used in all sorts of jobs since college. There are lots of project management situations that involve crises and recovering from them. It's a skill that everyone should work on having in their toolkit. I enjoy challenges (same reason I like hard video games), and I thrive in a problem-solving environment. I wouldn't say that I have previously had a high-profile presence as a go-to cleanup guy or anything.

The worst thing anyone can do is limit the internal communication of their organization. Lack of communication and a propensity toward avoiding conflict and confrontation are poisonous to growing an identity.

I haven't had time to dig into anything other than things I've already said in this thread.

Really lame and limp. On the GoDaddy subject...the excellent service I got late last night in nuking the Avenger site made me reconsider moving the domain elsewhere as a sign of loyalty to them helping us out when we really needed it.

mewt666407 karma

Hey look guys! This guy knows how to type on a computer!

moiseschiu1279 karma

I learned it on wwebsite as on internet from the Mayor of Boston.

the_catacombs795 karma

You. I like you.

moiseschiu931 karma

I think Reddit is broken. This was entirely too nice.

THE_NO_LIFE_KING243 karma

Sweet jesus, this new PR guy is a total 180 than with Paul. Have my upvotes and good luck with the company!

moiseschiu284 karma

Thanks, man. I'll need it!

inlight2242 karma

I'm confused as to how one holds email accounts 'hostage', care to explain? source

moiseschiu652 karma

I've been trying to get him to give up the access to these things he's been holding hostage (email accounts, Twitter, etc) by asking nicely for a couple of days. The gloves are off now.

Paul told me on the phone two hours ago that "Eight months ago, I locked down all this stuff so they wouldn't be able to fuck with me. If they don't give me what I want, it's war." His demands include a contract written on his terms and substantial compensation, both immediate and for as long as the company continues to exist. He flaunted the PR debacle he created as proof that he "made the company a success", citing all the media and public attention as the "best thing that ever happened to Avenger".

He didn't count on the fact that I anticipated all of this and have been a computer hardware and web tech since I was 14.

The thing we did have is control over the AvengerController.com domain. It was transferred away from its original account, which Paul has complete control of. Because of how GoDaddy works, that old account retained all of the email addresses and their master control settings (forwarding and so on). He has continued to respond to customer emails from his personal GMail account and lied to me repeatedly about doing so.

I tried to play nice, and Paul played stupid, acting like he didn't have access to this master account, blaming his "Indian outsourced tech team" being on vacation. I gave him two days to give over N-Control's digital property.

He finally leveled with me tonight that he knew I wasn't that stupid and that he was lying about his access to all these accounts. That's when he issued the above-mentioned threat. He reiterated that he had the hosting, email, and everything on lockdown.

Unfortunately, since he doesn't control the domain, he couldn't be more wrong. "James", a GoDaddy support rep and avid redditor, who knew exactly who I was, confirmed that I could do exactly what I wanted to...

Around a hour ago, I parked the domain and killed all the CNAME settings. All that email and the website may be sitting on servers he has access to, but he can't log in to any of the mail or do anything to the website.

I'm getting on the phone with the hosting company to try to get help from them, now that we're past the point of diplomacy.

TobyTrash235 karma

That's just insane... Doesn't he realise that's a criminal offence?

Hope you also have access to the website data and can rehost it, since you need to have an official channel besides twitter.

Good luck!

moiseschiu349 karma

And no, he has told me rather plainly that he believes himself to be in the right on this...withholding someone else's property.

badjournalism88 karma

@OceanDeepSea Paul @Kakmize im not holding anything hostage and I can not go on the record and say anything about that yet as soon as there is news i'll tweet 2 hours ago via web

He denies this on his twitter.

favorthebold91 karma

Heh, he's going to make his own statement, so he says:

https://twitter.com/#!/OceanDeepSea/status/152724944973869057

@cambiata extortion Ill have my statement ready soon Im not going to do what they did with out a lawyer

At least he's kinda-sorta learning that he shouldn't mouth of without asking someone smarter first. A little late, unfortunately for him.

moiseschiu339 karma

UPDATE: Mr. Christoforo has very recently become very forthcoming and helpful regarding a variety of digital assets we requested he return a few days ago (as mentioned above in detail). We thank him for his renewed helpfulness.

moiseschiu56 karma

Already in motion.

moiseschiu113 karma

I should add that you'll find the domain fully parked by now, and emails to any @avengercontroller.com addresses should bounce immediately.

ende76223 karma

Fun fact: If you Google "moise ncontrol", Google will ask you if you meant "noise control", which is oddly fitting.

moiseschiu321 karma

I'm so, so, SO exhausted right now. You should know that laughing at this almost cost me my lungs coughing.

ErrantWhimsy65 karma

You seem like a tremendously wonderful person. You have answered every question eloquently yet concisely with a dash of humor.

Especially after Paul, you seem like the ideal PR guy. Dear god, I hope they are paying you well for this.

I'm sure the lack of sleep is terrible, but I must admit I see a bit of fun in the concept of doing something like this. Public relations has always seemed like a challenge, but when you succeed in working well with people it seems satisfying. So my question is, what is your favorite part of your job?

moiseschiu13 karma

If these were the days of frock coats and mutton chops, that first bit would cause such the scandal. I say!

I'm a problem solver. I fix things, and think I'm worth what I charge.

It's been like one long slumber party with thousands of strangers that my wife and dog occasionally join me for, just without the pillow fights or TPing.

It's probably that there's always something new going on. I hate monotony...except when it comes to responding to hundreds of questions on Reddit.

paranoidkiwie211 karma

[deleted]

moiseschiu647 karma

I'm incorporating a lot of what I want to say about the series of phone conversations I've had with him.

I should preface by saying that I have the sense to leave things at a factual level as much as possible rather than open myself up to claims of defamation, which Paul has routinely thrown around while at once defaming others.

I agree with the notion that one does not negotiate with terrorists, which includes bullies. I say that because I have been strategically pacifying a bully for a couple of days now, and I'm done. Diplomacy has failed.

I've spoken to Paul many, many times over the last few days.

One of the main things that I've learned about him is that he is most concerned about the well-being of his wife and small child, along with his ability to make a living. I can respect and appreciate those things objectively. What I've also learned is that he is partial to protecting those interests without any consideration given to common courtesy or professional engagement.

Every comment regarding N-Control's separation from him was met with complaints to me centered around how N-Control was hurting his family and reputation. He insisted that he did the best thing that ever could have happened to the Avenger and N-Control. It is true that there are some positive vibes coming out of this, but I don't think it's inaccurate to say that the majority of that has all resulted from the damage control I put in place on N-Control's behalf. If you take his actions and delete me or someone doing what I've been doing, there is no turnaround in the first place, much less the huge upswing in sales he is imagining far off into the future. I categorically reject the notion that he can take credit for any of my work, forever and ever amen.

I played nicer than necessary over the last two days, and gave him a chance to do the right thing (return control of Avenger's email addresses, website, and other assets). The worst thing to do is make demands of someone issuing ultimatums when you want something out of them that they know they can use against you. At every step, I was told by Paul that "I like you and everything, and you're reasonable and just trying to do your job, but if they don't do what I say, things are gonna get ugly."

The first day, I told him that if he chose to speak to the press and speak on behalf of N-Control, that all bets were off. He has done that countless times now, and he's been more than warned, and I honestly believe that he doesn't realize that he's doing it. In that early chat, he told me "don't you fucking threaten me! You don't know who the fuck you're dealing with! I will do things to you that you cannot imagine, they are so fucking bad! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M CAPABLE OF!"

I think I know exactly what he's capable of: yelling and intimidation, with no real intent to follow through, The great thing about bullies is that when you've dealt with enough of them, you realize they're all configured the same way, generally speaking.

I was extensively bullied as a kid. Paul's methods and personality are very familiar to me. I think it should be pretty obvious that it indeed "got better" for me.

I de-escalated the conversation with techniques that I learned while caring for children. I reassured him that no one was out to get him, and that he just couldn't lash out like that or no one would want to play with him.

I should note that I don't care if he considers any of this condescending, especially considering the patronizing tone he's taken with me in every conversation we've had.

In our conversations, he has compared himself to no less than Howard Stern and Charlie Sheen. He has proclaimed himself to be the biggest thing on the internet, and has repeatedly touted how much power he thinks he now has with the press. He told me tonight "if they fuck with me, I got all these websites all over me. Whatever I tell them to write, they write." He says that he has a TV interview with SPIKE TV next week. I look forward to him telling them what to do and what to edit into their coverage.

Tonight, he reiterated that in unmistakable, forceful terms. His abrupt swings in tone and mood were astoundingly rapid. He told me he would burn the company to the ground and destroy everyone associated with it, including me, he regretted to inform me. "I know you're just a guy doing a job and you don't know any better. I'm gonna ruin your life if I have to."

Most people would have the urge to destroy him after being told that. Of course, that would only need to be said if he hadn't already done such a capable job of that himself. That's the part of the press release I wrote that I think he really didn't get: he needs to stop hurting himself, and consequently his family. He's making everything worse every time he opens his mouth, and for his family's sake, I wish he would stop. I'd be amazed if he can make himself look any worse, but I don't put that past him.

I hope that people stop giving him attention, because they're just feeding the beast. As for me, I'm done speaking with him on the phone.

paranoidkiwie202 karma

[deleted]

moiseschiu335 karma

Very welcome. The thing he don't realize is that he really has no idea who I am, and unlike Gabe, there's no Wikipedia article on me to give him an overview.

AdamBombTV259 karma

Oh God... you're part of the mafia aren't you.

That thing about throwing him under a bus wasn't just a colourful euphemism was it.

burning5ensation131 karma

He's a 'cleaner'.... I'm Moisés Chiullan. I solve problems.

moiseschiu15 karma

That's how I've explained what I do to so many people, you wouldn't (would) believe. "Have you seen Pulp Fiction...?"

elbenji28 karma

...Oh shit he's LEON! o_o

moiseschiu31 karma

Bonjour mon frère. Je suis León le professionnel certainement.

That's probably really lousy French. Don't flame me, France! I love Jean-Paul Belmondo and Godard and croissants and all that crap!

moiseschiu46 karma

I'm going to hit a few more of these first, and I absolutely will.

maullove137 karma

Was N-Control aware of this previous douchebaggery by Paul?

http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-customer-service

moiseschiu178 karma

No, they were not aware of it. I asked the owner, David Kotkin directly. He had no idea what I was talking about. He may have been told about it at some point or gotten an email about it, but Paul covered that up from N-Control management to the point they had no clue it had happened.

maullove170 karma

And a comment more than a question: I'm currently adapting this situation (and to a lesser extent combining it with others) into a case study for a business writing textbook. If you manage to clean this up and re-establish a credible ethos for N-Control you'll probably be the standard to which "A" responses from students are held.

moiseschiu222 karma

Thank you very much. My mother (a professor) would be proud that I have anything to do with education, since I didn't become a teacher as she hoped I would.

badjournalism119 karma

Having difficulty reading this. Maybe because it isn't. peppered with strange. periods.

I think a twitter user linked you to an old review on http://gengame.net/2011/03/avenger/ Have the usability issues raised in that review been addressed on the current models? Is there any reason you know of that other reviews around the same time had hardly any negative opinions on the prototype/product? Any reason for the strangely imbalanced reviews on Amazon, prior to the PennyArcade incident?

moiseschiu632 karma

This is the first time I've seen this. It's added toward the top of the very, very long to-do list.

Here's a big admission that I've told N-Control they had to make once I found out: some of the positive reviews, like the early ones you mention, were definitely planted. Who did what extent of planting has been difficult to ascertain. The owner has admitted to me that he did one himself. He had a feeling that others were done to fluff the reputation of the product by people who wanted it to succeed. Possibly friends, family, and so on. Possibly those with a business interest in it succeeding. He nor I will speculate that Paul was behind those, but we can't categorically deny that.

What I'll put here and now is that I've informed N-Control in no uncertain terms that if they participate in any further planting of reviews, that I'll walk immediately and not look back. That's the kind of thing that tons of small startups do every day to improve their reputation, but that doesn't make it right.

[deleted]299 karma

"What I'll put here and now is that I've informed N-Control in no uncertain terms that if they participate in any further planting of reviews, that I'll walk immediately and not look back."

I can't upvote this hard enough.

moiseschiu318 karma

Dare you to find a traditional PR agency that would say that or acknowledge anything in that comment.

badjournalism124 karma

Well, I figured as much. I was in Marketing/PR/Damage control till about 5 years ago. It was very difficult to reeducate some clients who had been told dishonest tactics were the "industry norm" from previous "specialists" they had contracted. Without educating the entrepreneur, the same mistakes are likely to happen again.

Much further down the line of course, but it may be a good idea to split the product line into pure gamer mods for enhanced shooter control, and a separate line for special needs clientele. While some needs like "reloading without releasing the analog sticks" may overlap, review and usage videos seem to make bumper accessibility needlessly cumbersome for players without short fingers. The two markets may have differing needs. The split would also make it seem less like Kotkin is "playing the goodwill for disabled gamers" angle to sell expensive peripherals to regular gamers.

moiseschiu200 karma

A recalibration of that sort is exactly what I've recommended.

kronik8582 karma

i'm just going to upvote everything you say.

moiseschiu48 karma

This. I like this. I like you. I like your words. More words...from you.

MetalMacavity104 karma

[deleted]

moiseschiu190 karma

I was prepared for that and grilled people about it as well. David was not the only one who had access to that Amazon account, and I haven't determined exactly who did the Onza reviews. David has told me that he had them removed as soon as he was made aware of them.

ZorbaTHut19 karma

I have almost no use for a PR agency and you're still making me want to hire you.

moiseschiu15 karma

PR is just one of the things I do. You never know what I have up my sleeve.

rigs19121 karma

Hey all, I'm the original author of the GenGAME.net avenger review. I originally wrote the review for my personal site, where I could say anything I wanted to, it was then edited by a moron to make it family friendly. After that the site(gengame) was lost and we had to restore from a DB backup, upon completion of the restore all of the articles had weird characters in them. We fixed some of the posts but ended up not having the time/manpower to do them all. As far as the review itself I'd be willing to check out a newer version of the product and eat my own words if necessary. The original (NSFW) review is located at http://insolentboggle.com/blog/archives/715 It contains undeserved rage and unnecessary language, I apologize in advance for any offense.

badjournalism48 karma

Any plans on contacting those who were name-dropped by Paul? Will N-control attempt to have a booth at PAX? Don't suppose you can make any definite statement, but is N-control considering taking action against OM?

moiseschiu158 karma

I'm actually real friends with Kevin Kelly, who introduced me to David. Kevin is the reason I picked up this gig. I've exchanged a couple of emails with others that Paul name-dropped, but a serious goodwill tour of emails is going to have to wait for the time being. I think the Mayor of Boston has more important things to do.

If PAX will have N-Control, I will make for goddamn sure they get a booth. I think Robert and Mike like me. I'm an anti-bully.

Unlike Paul Christoforo, I do not comment on pursuing or considering legal action. On a podcast recording tonight, I heard him make ridiculous references to how he considered suing Penny Arcade for $5 million dollars. Why $5 million dollars? It's a lot of money that he'd like to have, basically.

RoseCG104 karma

I won't ask a question, but I'll leave a suggestion here for you and N-Control:

Collaborate with Child's Play in a near future. Not as part of the "clean the damage the lunatic tanned guy left behind" operation, but because as many have said before, the Avenger controller has potential as a tool for gamers with disabilities.

If you want to go further, there are universities willing to research with prototypes the benefits of controllers like the Avenger. You would help science and academia research, receive suggestions for improvement for future models and of course, get a good reputation.

moiseschiu229 karma

I have had a very good conversation with them along those lines. I don't believe in buying good press. I think that it's spiritually a good idea for Avenger to do things with Child's Play as an ongoing, forever and ever thing.

Jamie at Child's Play is a lovely person. I told her many secrets. I hope she is reading.

sungkwon102 karma

I work at a cyber cafe in the midwest that has XBox360s and today I had a lot of customers asking about the Avenger Controller. Normally I'm up to date with game releases, product releases, etc, but haven't heard what this is, and will look it up on YouTube next.

I have gone back and read the e-mail fiasco and at first I feel bad that a small(?) company like this is getting such a bad rap from someone else's poor, unprofessional attitude.

Couple of questions about the product:

1) If the controller is made overseas and shipped and has to go through customs, have they done this before? I feel like using the excuse "being held up at customs" seems very new to the industry and might be a starting out mistake, but I could be wrong.

2) At the risk of getting LMGTFY'd, I'm going to ask what Ocean Marketing's role was with the Avenger Controller company, to help seal up some gaps in the information I've tried to read.

EDIT: Just googled the company, but does marketing include handling the phones and e-mails coming in for the product? It almost seems like Paul Christoforo was the only person working the computer and telephone.

Further edit: 3rd question: How is Chistoforo holding your e-mails hostage? Did he change the passwords, etc. to keep them away from the company? I feel like that might be illegal...

Also, this is my first reddit post! :D

moiseschiu129 karma

It's a very small company, less than ten people.

1) The PS3 version is a completely new item, and as a result, is more likely to get hung up than something that's gone through many times.

2) Ocean Marketing is Paul Christoforo. He has no other employees. It's just him. He primarily did sales, and voluntarily did customer service and PR and various other things for them. He does not and never has owned part of N-Control (the company that makes the Avenger)

3) Yes, his flavor of it would qualify as extortion, based on the phone call I had with him earlier tonight. I'm going to spread the love with the guy just under, who directly asks something that will answer this for you.

sungkwon56 karma

Thanks for helping clarify this for me. I had no idea that this was regarding a PS3 version of the controller and that the XBox one was already out. I guess that makes sense with the hang-ups in customs. Good luck untangling this massive pile of crap that Paul has left for you, you seem very intelligent, and I think it's a good idea to be siding and communicating with the Internet, that helped reveal this man's unprofessional conduct, originating at Penny-Arcade, and went viral.

moiseschiu52 karma

Thank you very much for the compliments.

akimbomidget101 karma

Yo OP, you might want to place this IAMA in a reddit ad if you haven't done so already. Looks pretty important.

edit: http://www.reddit.com/ad_inq Just purchase an ad, and help reddit out

badjournalism55 karma

I second that recommendation. The topic won't be as hot tomorrow, and many would be content to walk away with "Paul/Ocean Marketting/Kotkin/Avenger are a bunch of douchebags" as a conclusion, especially now that Paul got the axe.

moiseschiu212 karma

you win the day, damn it all.

moiseschiu106 karma

THANK YOU. YOU ARE MADE OF WIN.

nerdrock10192 karma

What's your plan for this situation?

moiseschiu206 karma

To be as transparent as possible about everything, including who really runs Avenger Controller (not Paul Christoforo, as some mistakenly still believe), correct misinformation that's out there, and give people a chance to judge for themselves and not throw the whole company over a cliff because Paul made them look bad.

My biggest plan is to make sure that Paul is done hurting N-Control (who make the Avenger).

firex72674 karma

What about shipping product?

Couldn't this whole thing had been avoided had the product shipped earlier?

As I recall it was initially stated by Dave that on the site it said product would ship in early Dec.

moiseschiu113 karma

We put out a press release that orders are going to be fulfilled as quickly as possible. That's at the front of everyone's minds and why most of us have barely slept this week.

MustardCat81 karma

I can't find it right now, but someone in one of the older Reddit posts found a company that both David Kotkin and Paul Christoforo were partners in.

How did David not see this happening if they were already business partners already? Especially with Hand Media warning them about Paul's antics?

EDIT: Afternoon Artists, Inc.

moiseschiu88 karma

The press release we put out covers this. The company was incorporated but that's all that happened: paperwork. Entrepreneurs file incorporation documents for companies they never so much as actually start all the time. If you hired a private investigator, you'd find that Afternoon Artists has never so much as opened a bank account, much less done anything.

NothAU81 karma

Were there any issues with Christforo before this incident?

moiseschiu145 karma

Legally, I can't speak to specific incidents and not get myself or the company in trouble. What I can say that definitely answers your question is that yes, they did. Paul's personality is perfectly reproduced by the original PA post and the interviews he's conducted since, and that led to many personality conflicts. I'll elaborate in another answer I'm jumping into now.

jnatale70 karma

What about Paul Christoforo and Ocean Marketing appealed to you in the first place that made you decide they were the people you wanted to do your marketing?

moiseschiu227 karma

I have to clarify that I didn't make that decision. I've worked for these guys for 48 hours. What David Kotkin (the owner) told me is what I believe: they only had so much money, and this guy was offering to do lots of jobs for the price of one. He was driving solid hard sales early on, so they gave him a shot. He had a compelling personal story, growing up on the hard-knock streets and so on. He talked a good game, and by the time things got uncomfortable, they tolerated what was mostly interpersonal differences rather than jeopardize the whole business by dumping him, since so many things were in his hands.

They rolled the dice and got snake eyes.

codyanne66 karma

Were the controllers really delayed due to customs? That sounded like an excuse to me, but he just worded everything terribly. Thanks for the AMA & good luck!

moiseschiu120 karma

As I understand things that was the actual reason. What was not communicated and SHOULD have been was that they got way higher demand than expected. He (and as a result the company) failed to set expectations properly, the cardinal sin of customer service and sales.

Thank you for asking the question!

codyanne39 karma

Thanks for the answer - it does make sense, but he didn't, and even though that was the reason, it was made that much more incredulous by his behavior. Just, wow.

moiseschiu86 karma

If you don't communicate with people, they assume you don't care about them because...you aren't talking to them or telling them everything.

ThatsMisterDickToYou61 karma

1 Have you seen a change in the number of people buying the product?

2 No doubt Paul Christoforo will have to do his own AMA. Is N Control worried about what else he may say?

moiseschiu128 karma

1 - No way to tell at this point, data is all over the map.

2 - Good luck to him. He can and will say whatever he wants. He's done a great job of showing people what a train wreck looks like, and people will stop caring to watch continued instant replays soon enough. I would recommend that he learn about legally actionable defamation.

EderC60 karma

Do you think Paul will ever work in the games industry again?

moiseschiu143 karma

Boy, if only I were a betting man....

goolley57 karma

Is there a chance that the "any publicity is good publicity" idea might come into play and this whole situation with Paul might actually benefit the Avenger Controller sales?

moiseschiu93 karma

I very much want to achieve that effect, while at the same time making sure the fallout heaped onto Paul is accurate and factually reported.

deten57 karma

I think its important to remember:
If he had this planned out he probably would have come to your company and said "Hey guys, I will go down for you all. I will make myself look like a terrible person for your success, but I want some compensation".
Considering he probably didn't do that, and the emails released, its pretty obvious that any benefits are from your attempts to distance yourself from him. If he had never been cought, then game sales wouldn't increase. Yes the advertising is good, but its because of the changes for the better.

moiseschiu56 karma

right, exactly.

citizinpain54 karma

Did no one see all the stupid videos he had posted on his Youtube channel until now?

moiseschiu108 karma

They knew about them and couldn't afford a pro job on them. N-Control is a small startup that took what they could get in their first year. When I first looked at them two days ago when I was considering coming onboard to clean up the mess, they made me want to vomit. They're garbage.

Unrelated_ShortStory53 karma

they made me want to vomit. They're garbage.

Well said Mike Gundy.

moiseschiu79 karma

Thank god someone finally got the Gundyness of it all.

brownie8154 karma

Not a question, I just wanted to wish you and N-Control the best of luck in cleaning up the mess. The controller and the story behind it are just plain great and it would be a damn shame for such a story to be sullied by something like this. Keep tough!

moiseschiu56 karma

Very much appreciated. The only thing I'm asking people to do is to give the Avenger people a second glance with actual facts in front of them.

codyanne34 karma

My husband & i have been following the whole fiasco since a few days ago & we're rooting for you & N-Control!

moiseschiu35 karma

Thanks!

VictorVonZeppelin53 karma

This is the most impressive AMA I've seen for a while, content-wise.

But, in an off topic way... How do you pronounce your name?

moiseschiu46 karma

Would say see above, but I'll just copy/paste/enhance:

Moisés moy-SESS (think of the accent on the "e")

Chiullan chew-YAHN (first half chinese, last half spanish, all difficult to pronounce)

belgianguy39 karma

First off, moiseschiu, I applaud how well you have handled this case so far. I've read through the AMA and you seem to have ample experience with this sort of situations. While it's bad, and Paul seems to be unwilling to accept the reality (and severity) of this situation, your discreetness, sincerity and will to inform give off a vibe that there are better times ahead for N-Control. It also gives the outside world a point of contact and a source of verifiable information, which was lost on many as the whole thing exploded. As soon as Paul realizes he also is subject to law and order, I hope his bubble of megalomania finally bursts.

Something I wondered about earlier: Do you know if the initial conversations between Paul Christoforo and Kotaku could be considered digital libel? As he used Brandon Leidel's AvengerControl email address, as well as signed with his name, I would say this classifies as impersonation/identity theft. At the moment Brandon Leidel didn't work for N-Control anymore I believe. Brandon later stated that he had not sent those emails, so the facts are pretty clear here. I have no affiliation with Kotaku but I read the conversation there.

The only console I own is a SNES, so sadly I'm not in the market for an Avenger Controller, however, I do wish N-Control the best of luck with their current and future endeavors.

moiseschiu60 karma

We've been having some very strongly-worded conversations with Paul over the last few hours about various issues, and I can tell you that he has a great deal better understanding as to the position he is in. He is being very cooperative at present. You just reminded me that my Super Game Boy needs cleaning.

badjournalism37 karma

http://www.gameranx.com/features/id/4238/article/oceanstratagy-paul-christoforo-himself-speaks/

RE: Brandon Leidel

"Brandon Leidel was fired by N-Control. He didn't fire N-Control, which he said in a statement at Kotaku which is 100% false. Brandon Leidel ripped off the company for $35,000. He was fired from the company for his actions. He was disrespectful to [Avenger creator David Kotkin]. He left him at PAX East Boston. He left me at the show to clean up the mess. I had to bring back the televisions. He left David at the hotel and went to the airport without him. Brandon Leidel was fired from the company because he was robbing them. You can put that on the record, too. I don't give a shit what he says. Because that's the truth. I can get a confirmation on that from the owner if you want one."

RE: Nate Stansell

"No. In the end I got it taken care of. I got him his free controller and just did what I could to handle the situation. No, nobody said anything. He went on a rant, they knew about it. It was just another bad situation. He was just real adamant. I don't remember the whole entire e-mails [SIC] that transpired between the two of us. I know that they're on the internet somewhere. Nobody said anything. I let them know what happened. I said “We gotta send this guy a free controller. He's pretty upset.” So, we got it out to him. They knew about it after it happened, yeah. That's why he got the free controller."

Any comments?

moiseschiu45 karma

re: Brandon N-Control disagrees with Mr. Christoforo's version of events, and goes further to state that we will never fully confirm nor deny anything on his behalf. re: Nate The extent to which management knew specifics of this situation and how far it went in terms of Mr. Christoforo's specific candor with any clarity was that a customer was upset and wanted a controller accessory at no charge.

ende7617 karma

Piggybacking, specifically I'd like to know if Paul's account of Brandon Leidel's firing is accurate. He seems quite confident that David would back him up on this, however he's not exactly what would be called a reliable witness.

moiseschiu37 karma

See my response below. David does not have Paul's back for any reason on and subject.

moiseschiu32 karma

any*

MyNameCouldntBeAsLon33 karma

At least the name checks with this forbes piece.

What's the deal with N-control? Is it only one guy running the show? How come a High School Student (who presumably studied under Kotkin) ran the media relations?

Do you have a 'damage control' plan for the Avenger Controllers?

Also, you mention on twitter for Avenger Controllers that Paul has hijacked the emails, is he doing anything that could damage the company you are representing? He seems (although I don't think it's super sincere) to have publicly changed his attitude with a couple of interviews I've read, so I'm not completely certain he would dig his own grave.

Finally, do you have any experience (I read that you are a specialist in this kind of thing) with PR?

Many thanks! For all the wrong reasons, this has been a delightfully sorry story to read...

moiseschiu49 karma

Yup, I did an interview here: http://www.dailydot.com/business/n-control-moises-chiullan-paul-christoforo/

It's the owner and a few part-timers and me. Eli Schwartz (the kid in question) was not one of David's students He approached David at PAX East last year in Boston. He was hugely enthusiastic and very bright. David has had him doing odd jobs for the company part time. When all the PA stuff hit and Paul was suddenly out of the picture and everything was crazy, David had Eli trying to control the uncontrollable the set he could. He did his best, and youthful vigor gave way to overstepping of boundaries. He's a good kid who got handed an impossible task and managed not to have a full-on meltdown. I'm keeping him around in some capacity or another.

I do have a damage control plan, and it's already well in motion (this is part of it). There's something charitable that I'm hoping we can announce tomorrow morning.

He could in theory. See my answer above for a lot of detail about the structure of it all.

The most direct experience I could reference is all locked behind NDAs. The majority of the work I've done like this has been relatively invisible because that's how it's wanted. I've most recently been doing a great deal more event marketing and sponsorship sales work. I feel most at home in a crisis like this though. My wife tells me that like it's a good thing.

No one has been more entertained by this or seen more of it than me.

2SmokesLetsGo32 karma

I may have missed the boat on this AMA but I still wanted to ask this question: How does N-Control respond to the criticisms in customer email threads about how you charged people fully on their credit cards for product you didn't have in stock and had no way of shipping for months? This is at best a violation of terms of companies like Visa, and at worst I would think illegal. Do you have plans to credit people who have been wrongfully charged until product comes in?

moiseschiu41 karma

That's an extensive issue that I haven't had enough time to get to the bottom of yet. Purchases are made with Google Checkout and Paypal rather than running VISA or MC through a merchant account on our end, but that doesn't alter the fact that there was something insanely broken on the notification and expectations end of things. I've replied elsewhere in the thread that this is a big ball of weird that bothers me.

The big thing is getting an understudying of what expectations WERE set and then finding out what customers' current understanding of things is.

whydidisaythatwhy25 karma

Did David not even see one example of Paul's writing abilities before hiring him? One quick look at his twitter or even a single email would surely set some sort of alarm off.

moiseschiu47 karma

Can't speak to that, much less acknowledge that Paul's writing style as seen by most in the PA chains is representative of his emails to others across the board. I could speculate, but it'd be baseless, gossipy garbage not with the internet it's written on.

WileyE23 karma

I'm curious how you fell into this role? Did you contact N-Control or were they looking for a replacement?

Also, where have you worked previously if you don't mind saying.

moiseschiu45 karma

I'm actually friends with Kevin Kelly, who is name-dropped by Paul in the PA thread. I assumed they were flailing, and I am very much at home in crises like these. My most relevant previous work (relative to this situation) would be disaster preparedness many years ago at Florida's Department of Health, and lots of NDA-restricted things for Apple corporate here in Austin. I've got a very eclectic résumé.

hillgod24 karma

You're in Austin? Can I buy you a drink?

Haha, I doubt you want one from some random fucker on the internet, but best of luck to you and another local company... Keep Austin Weird!

moiseschiu45 karma

I really want to do an Austin meetup, honestly. Follow the AvengerControl twitter account and I'll try to set something up.

Spud38716 karma

I am also curious. How did the quick turnaround for firing Paul and hiring on new representation (you) happen? N-Control had to hire someone ASAP whereas I know usually companies want time to consider applicants.

moiseschiu32 karma

They didn't have much time to turn things around. I was referred by someone known to the owner. They gambled on me, and I hope my results come off as a lot better than they got with rolling the Christoforo dice.

moiseschiu29 karma

Additionally, I should note that they had no choice but to dump Paul. Retaining him was never an option.

YourTechSupport22 karma

I just wanted to say the peripheral itself looks pretty awesome.

moiseschiu53 karma

I told David that a much worse name that still would have fit would have been the Controller Tarantula.

paranoidkiwie38 karma

[deleted]

moiseschiu115 karma

Forgot there may be arachnophobes on here. Tremendously insensitive of me. <kills self as an example to all>

the_catacombs17 karma

How about "The Spider" or "Arachnid?"

moiseschiu42 karma

The way the thing looks, a Spider-Man licensed one would look neat.

TobyTrash22 karma

You have been tweeting for people to come forward with other horror stories from Paul and his interactions with other customers, and it seems you have gotten several replies.

Can you elaborate anything about this? I understand this is an internal affair(?) and the fan is probably about to receive a lot of shit from all parties involved, but the level of "Paulism" would be nice to have a feel about.

moiseschiu77 karma

How about this philosophical pondering:

It's astonishing how one individual can so hate the notion of dealing with people reasonably and politely.

bob44bbo21 karma

Why will Paul not to surrender the credentials to the twitter and Gmail accounts is trying to get one final payday out of it ?

moiseschiu54 karma

He wants money now and ongoing profit participation. Judge for yourself how likely either one is at this point.

inhabitantj15 karma

Paul obviously had some major shortcomings with his position but I would like to know if he had any policies or ideas that were indeed helpful to N-Control? If so will any be carried over or, for all intents and purposes, will you be recreating from ground up?

moiseschiu26 karma

Rebuilding from scratch.