By the time August rolled around, I had to pester Oleg fairly often on Skype about when paychecks were going out. When we got to September, paychecks were being paid months late. Oleg became increasingly less responsive on Skype. At this point I was stuck in Poland after having exhausted a large majority of my savings. I could barely afford food and necessities for my child and his mother while staying there.
The last paycheck I received from own3d was marked for July. I don’t believe I will ever be paid for the last 5 months I streamed with them. I’m trying to keep this as formal and non-sensationalist as possible, but it’s hard to imagine the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I get from even typing that out.
On own3d.tv you had the option to subscribe to my stream for a fee of $5.00/month. I was promised to be compensated for 60% of the revenue generated from subscribers. I love and appreciate all of you guys that subscribed to me more than you will ever imagine, but I was never (and probably will never be) paid for anyone who subscribed to my stream. own3d.tv literally pocketed that money and kept it for themselves. I pestered numerous times on Skype for it, but was never given a flat answer.
Among all of the other silly problems that came along with such a newly emerging technology such as streaming, one of the most pervasive and disruptive problems I had was with transcodes. The transcodes on my stream (the ability to watch in a lower resolution at a lower framerate) were consistently laggy or otherwise unwatchable. Based on my estimates from when I’ve streamed in the past, about 40% of a person’s audience of a 1080p or 60fps stream is watching transcodes. My transcodes were consistently broken and I feel as though it impacted my viewership, especially during my later months with own3d.
To summarize, during the first few months, aside from not being paid for subscriptions or my cash incentive, things were relatively okay. As the year continued on, however, things became unbearable for me. Everything came to a head when I was essentially forced to switch from own3d.tv to twitch.tv before my contract end date in December. I hadn’t received a paycheck in so long that I was becoming worried about my ability to provide for my family while in Poland (or when we returned home) so I switched to twitch.tv 2 weeks before my contract’s end date in order to pursue a more reliable paycheck.