IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer Steps Down Amidst Corruption Allegations

Independent Games Festival Chairman Brandon Boyer has stepped down. In a letter published on the IGF website, he passes the role of Chairman over to Kelly Wallick, the original creator of the Indie Megabooth. Wallick will be handling the IGF for 2016 and beyond, as well as instituting new changes in the way the IGF is run.

Wallick will be reducing the entrance fee from $95 to $75 for the main competition entrants of the IGF. If you think this is an upgrade, keep in mind that the main entrant fee will be offset by raising the student entrant fee from $0 to $25.

In her first letter to the community as the new IGF Chairman, Wallick states…

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to continue Brandon’s position as chairperson for the IGF.”


[…] “I intend to continue moving the indie game community forward in a way that promotes positivity, rewards creativity and inspires future developers, while working with both the IGF and the Indie MEGABOOTH”

The changes in pricing and a change in Chairman comes amidst a year of corruption allegations leveled at former IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer, who was also a former member of the Game Journo Pros.

Things came to a head with the Indie-Fensible videos from Camera Lady back on September 1st, 2014, where a series of exposés highlighted numerous sex and cronyism scandals that Boyer was involved in. This resulted in the IGF and PR firm Silverstring Media issuing responses about the allegations, denying charges of wrongdoing.

However, following the claims of the IGF being involved with flagitious activity, former games journalist Allistair Pinsof also claimed that things didn’t seem right with Boyer and some of the other awards events he hosted within the gaming industry. Pinsof made these claims in an interview that took place on Techraptor back on February 4th,  2015. Kotaku did a follow-up on the interview and attempted to dismiss any wrongdoing on behalf of Boyer and the IGF. Although, on February 6th, 2015 after being presented with more information about the corruption charges, they did state that they would further investigate the claims of corruption, but never followed through with anything else.

Pinsof and others called for a thorough investigation into the IGF. Gamers had previously submitted complaints to the SEC and FTC about potentially rigged competitions, which is a violation of state law in California.

This was all further exacerbated within the gaming community after various developers complained about the way the IGF judging process was handled, which included notable names in the indie scene such as Edmund McMillen from Super Meat Boy, who opined that the incestuous nature of the indie scene was out of hand, as documented in a podcast and transcribed on Kotaku in Action.

According to leaked logs, in an attempt to keep this information suppressed some Reddit moderators actively abetted in covering up and censoring any posts outside of Kotaku in Action that highlighted the corruption of the IGF.

Back on April 16th, 2015 David Auerbach from Slate had previously predicted that IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer, along with IGDA executive Kate Edwards, would be stepping down within 18 months.

It appears Auerbach hit the nail on the head regarding the former IGF chairman.

Moreover, this may not be the end of the former GJP member and IGF Chairman. Boyer states in his farewell letter that he has new initiatives planned and that he enjoyed his five years running the IGF…

“It has been, as they say, a privilege and an honor for me to serve you all here for the past five years, and I’m super thankful to have been given the opportunity to work with our staff, our judges & jurors who volunteer so much of their time to make the festival happen every year, and the developers who create all the amazing experiences we’re here to celebrate.”

Whether or not this will mean the IGF will head into a new direction that better represents indie developers and steers away from any charges of potential corruption remains to be seen. For now, the IGF will be in the hands of Kelly Wallick as one chapter closes and a new one opens. I’m sure the executives at UBM are hoping that this new chapter contains fewer news stories headlined with the words “corruption” and “allegations”, and focuses more on the indie titles featured in the IGF.


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

21 thoughts on “IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer Steps Down Amidst Corruption Allegations

  1. It has been, as they say, a privilege

    Brandon Boyer is privileged, who would have thunk.

    But putting aside the humor, what do we know about the person that’s replacing him? If she’s been with IGF the whole time, will things really change?

    1. No idea. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Plus, she doesn’t seem like the type to get swayed and seduced by the rolling mounds of belly fat and pink-haired mohawks of neck-bearded betas.

  2. Hopefully the lady replacing Mr Boyer won’t even entertain the thought of doing a quarter of the shit he did.

    Hopefully GamerGate is actually affecting change in the industry, and that we can keep these inept jackasses out of the industry once and for all.

    1. I have no doubt she’s part of the same indie clique.

      If it’s true that the number of entrants is increasing, that is just sad. Waste of money unless you’re liked by the right people or can credibly claim that you are a “marginalized voice” and/or creating “under-appreciated (by the cursed ‘gamer’ shitlords) art”.

      1. >I have no doubt she’s part of the same indie clique.

        There is the belief she is the sister of the girlfriend of Rami ismail.

    2. Even if she’s the same on corruption she won’t have the same connections/influence.

      Plus being out of the spotlight means she’d have less experience hiding the bodies.

      1. Really good point here.

        Boyer was on the GJP, and even if they have a new one Wallick would have to make all new connections. IF she were going to go the corrupt route it would take a heck of a lot of effort. The connections and built-in infrastructure of corruption just isn’t there.

        Plus, these days a lot of devs are afraid to get too cozy with journos for fear of getting Graysoned.

  3. Uhh the dudes battling cancer, which is the most likely reason for the resignation. Things haven’t seemed to be going very well. What kind of shitty click bait journalism is this? You would make Kotaku proud. Celebrating that he resigned due to cancer? Disgraceful.

    1. He never mentioned cancer in his post. Click-bait would be making this about his cancer. Unless you can point out where in the post he mentions he’s resigning due to cancer?

      This article never stated he resigned because of corruption but did so amidst allegations of corruption.

      Kuchera’s White Knight training hasn’t been going so good in the AGG camp.

    2. I hope I never run into you in the industry… or whatever’s left of it, after your corrupt bullying nepotist cronies are hopefully removed.

  4. So how long until our legitimate complaints about the IGF that have been going on for over a year be morphed into “Shut up, misogynists.”?

  5. Still sad it takes this long for blatant corruption to be addressed in any form. Goes to show just how fundamentally corrupt society has become.

  6. What victory?

    The FDA doesn’t declare a “victory” when a bad product is pulled from the shelf. There is no end-game or win condition. #GG might squash a few termites that crawl above the floorboards, that doesn’t mean everything is ok.

    1. It’s a victory, not the victory.

      Winning the battle isn’t the same winning the war, but it’s still winning.

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