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Dom. War founder resigns, future plans revealed

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Fredrik Hultqvist, Dominance War & Unearthly Challenge organizer and founder, announced today that he is resigning from his positions.

Who is he leaving those events to to be organized? Find out that and much more after the jump.


[caption id="attachment_4482" align="alignleft" width="140" caption="Fred Hultqvist, DW & UC founder"][/caption]

Last week, Fredrik Hultqvist teased an announcement regarding the future of the Dominance War and Unearthly Challenge. After polycount broke news of a contest clause edit that, along with a history of questionable decisions from the organizer, the Dominance War page was closed off to nothing more than a teaser splash screen. Today, the teased announcement is live and it seems as though some things are changing on the highest of levels for future Dominance Wars and Unearthly Challenges.




Here's some of what Hultqvist had to say.

Dear friends and fellow artists. We have seen many great moments in the history of Dominance War - Hobbyists turning into masters, students getting jobs with DW art, panic attacks due to upcoming deadlines, relief with thankful extensions, smiles on artists' faces during DW worldwide events, artists helping others regardless of location or religion, everyone united in the spirit of sharing ideas, pro artists creating world class art, communities comming together to compete in a friendly team vs team challenge, and more. However with all the above, I must now address you on a very personal level, because in truth, I have failed you. I have failed economically to continue on with what I have started. Everything has gotten too large for a single person to handle and as a consequence, people are questioning my integrity, I have offended sponsors, I have made artists everywhere upset, I have insulted champions with incomplete prize packages, and I have failed my mother who has supported my endeavors to date. I can no longer explain my reasons or circumstances because after witnessing reactions to current events, I understand that you want and deserve more. Unfortunately, I have nothing left to give. All I can say is, in the span of 5 years, I am proud of what I have accomplished – I was able to successfully start Dominance War and Unearthly Challenge from nothing and I will soon enable them to continue on their own.


In a few posts, both in Polycount News and the Forum, the staff here has mentioned that previous decisions by Fred seemed very questionable; Missing prizes, delays, and judging re-do's. The clause edit was our 'final straw', which saw Emil's News post ripe with some colourful choices of words. In regards to the missing money, Hultqvist writes:

What Polycount wrote was very true. They had the right to say what they did, furthermore, each artist had the right to question my motives and money spending habits. Everything was hidden as I am not a very open person who likes to discuss myself or my methods unless forced. So what did I do with money earned online? Basically, I earned less then 50k total in 5 years from everything DW, UC and GA. How? Sold 6 t-shirts to date, $2/day for google ads, main banners are primarily for sponsors who provide software as prizes (normally - $0 funding), Sold under 30 posters in 3 years that cost $12 to print $19 to sell and over 160 hours to create, donations made under 3k in 5 years, and finally, sponsors paid for 35% of the costs of running a challenge like DW or UC (remember, it's not just prizes, programming costs too), I paid the rest. If I was an artist in the field, I would have earned over 250-320k over a 5-year span, the working hours would be better, I’d have a paid vacation, a dental plan and I would only spend my money on myself. If you do the math, 50k divided by 5, is 10k per year on average. Add in the fact that 90% of everything earned had to be re-invested back into making DW, UC and GA great, and that leaves me with, give or take a few dollars, –250,000k in total (no salary because I am running online challenges full time, plus I am personally funding each event). Believe it or not, it was very tough for the past 5 years. For those who question GAMontreal, please don't. Seriously...

So, with Hultqvist stepping down, just what is going to happen with the Dominance War & Unearthly Challenge?

As I step down, I would like to give the world community I have come to respect and love, my World Challenge System. I will finish the pre-domwar challenge and before I leave, I will ensure that both DW and UC will continue on to become the great events that they were meant to be. To assure this, from this day forth, all previous prizes for both UC and DW are cancelled. It is unfortunate, but in order to give the new generation of DWs and UCs a fighting chance, I must invoke this right. My final act as organizer and founder will be to personally construct two new communities on DominanceWar.com and UnearthlyChallenge.com. I will detach both DW and UC from GameArtisans’ systems and transfer all art entries to their proper domains to ensure that all previous finalists will remain in history where they belong. I will then create a final special world challenge system for DW and UC and ensure that future events can be easily held. I am positive that with the united effort of 15 forums, some spectacular competitions will arise in 2011 and beyond. But first and foremost, Prizes I imagine, must be severely reduced because they have gotten quite out of hand (my bad).

To read the rest of what Hultqvist has to say, head on over to the announcement here. There isn't a lot of information divulged here that has to do with the current contest - Dominance War V - or what the next immediate steps will be other than separating the entities to be their own domains.

As for Polycount specifically: Everyone is welcome to sign-up and join for future Dominance War's, post DW 5. However, moving forward we're going to be doing our best to host our own sponsored contests in the same vein as the Team-Fortress 2: Polycount Pack - great theme, great spec's and prizes worth wanting. We feel a lot better about you guys - our community - being a part of something we organize rather than elsewhere so we know that the community is what is in the best interest of the organizers.


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