Big changes to the IGDA Board of Directors.

From Friday…

Dear IGDA Member,
A Special Meeting of the membership of IGDA will be held on October 3rd, 2009. The sole purpose of the meeting is to vote on whether IGDA Board of Directors member Tim Langdell (a) should serve the remainder of this term, or (b) should have his term concluded early (effective October 3rd, 2009). Mr. Langdell was elected by the membership on March 1st of 2009, and his term is scheduled to expire on March 1st of 2012; or (c) abstain from this vote.

A Special Meeting is intended to allow the membership to make a decision and requires a quorum of half the membership to participate in order to carry the outcome. I highly encourage all members to participate so that quorum can be reached.

Further information as to the background of these two outcomes will be posted to the members-only section of the IGDA website as of September 2009, and a second reminder email will be sent at that time. In addition, an electronic proxy ballot will be provided to each member at that time, with which they may cast their vote. The voting period will extend through the end of September, approximately 30 days.

While process requires there will be a “physical meeting”, which will be at IGDA headquarters offices (19 Mantua Road, Mt. Royal, NJ 08061) at 10:00AM eastern time, and members may attend in person, such presence is not required or even anticipated. The meeting itself likely will take only a few minutes and consist primarily of announcing the results of the voting. No other business will be conducted.

Again, more information will be forthcoming in early September, and we ask that you withhold any questions until that time if at all possible.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation as we move through this process together.

Tobi Saulnier, Co-Chair
Date: August 28, 2009

…and now this morning:

IGDA Announces Dr. Tim Langdell has stepped down from IGDA Board

Monday Aug. 31st, Mt. Royal, NJ: The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) today announced that Tim Langdell has resigned from the IGDA Board of Directors, effective immediately. Dr Langdell had served on the Board since March 2009.

The resignation means that Dr Langdell’s seat on the Board is vacated, and will be up for election in early 2010. The special meeting called for the membership in Oct. on this matter will no longer take place.

Oh yeah, and…

Bob Bates to Pursue “Dream Project”
Steps Down as IGDA Co-Chair

Mt. Royal, New Jersey – August 27, 2009 – The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) today announced that Bob Bates has told the IGDA Board of Directors that he is stepping down from his responsibilities as the Co-Chair of the organization after more than six years on the board to pursue a project that he has considered for more than a decade. Bates’ responsibilities will be taken over by Co-Chair Tobi Saulnier, who took on the role of co-chair at the beginning of August, and is currently leading the Board as it makes plans for the upcoming IGDA Leadership Forum in November.

Bates served in multiple roles during his time on the board, including chair of several committees, secretary, vice-chairman and chairman (2005 & 2009). During his tenure the organization grew from 5,000 members to over 13,000. He initiated a complete overhaul of the association’s technical infrastructure, and earlier this year oversaw the association’s transition to a new executive director.

“There are only a few times in life when the opportunity arises to work on one’s dream project,” said Bates. “Such an opportunity is before me now, and pursuing it will mean I cannot give the IGDA the level of attention I feel is required of a board member or Chair. It has been an honor to serve the organization, but I know that with Executive Director Joshua Caulfield and Co-Chair Tobi Saulnier at the helm, and with the help of our countless volunteers, the IGDA will continue to deliver on our mission of improving the lives and careers of professional game developers everywhere. I have been planning on pursuing this project for some time now, but wanted to ensure that the right team was in place to take the association to the next level. With Tobi and Joshua working together with the rest of the board and volunteer leadership, I feel comfortable with the timing of my decision.”

“Bob was a great leader for this organization, and we’ll be sorry to see him take a seat on the sidelines,” said Saulnier. “At the same time, we all know what it’s like to have a chance to go for it!”

“Bob has been a fantastic mentor during my time with the IGDA,” said Joshua Caulfield, executive director of the IGDA. “It’s not often you can work with the guy who literally “wrote the book” on how the industry works. The good news is that I had the opportunity to know a great game developer and human being, and better yet, I still have his phone number.”

The IDGA Feedback forum should make for some interesting reading this week.

Update: Here’s Tim’s resignation notice

Tim Langdell Steps Down From IGDA Board
August 31, 2009

With the process barely started leading up to the Special Meeting announced last Friday and set to take place on October 3, it is already clear to me that despite my being confident that thinking members of the IGDA will vote for me to remain on the board for the balance of my term, there is a contingent who were involved in sending the defamatory email to all members by exploiting the IGDA email system a few weeks ago who in their fanaticism will cause substantial negative press for the IGDA over the next month and place intolerable demands on the board and IGDA staff. And while I am confident that were the needed quorum of at least 50% of the voting membership to be achieved at the Special Meeting that the vote would go in favor of my remaining on the board, my fear is that a quorum will not be attained and that consequently this vocal minority will not accept the outcome of the October 3rd meeting as bringing closure to this issue.

My great fear, then, is that this vocal minority — most of whom are not IGDA members — will continue their negative attacks on the IGDA beyond October 3, refusing to accept the outcome of my remaining on the board. It seems nearly certain they will continue to generate even more negative press for the IGDA for weeks or even months to come and persist in causing substantial drain on IGDA board volunteer and staff resources and time, which is not in the interests of either the IGDA or its membership. Especially not at this time when all key IGDA resources should be focused on the Leadership Forum, not on dealing with this issue.

Thus with the best interests of the IGDA at heart, and mindful of the unfair demand on the time of my fellow board members and our truly excellent IGDA staff, including the remarkable Joda Sapp and our incomparable new ED Joshua Caulfield, I therefore announce my decision to resign as a member of the board of the IGDA, effective immediately. I make this decision not because I have done anything wrong — on the contrary I am confident that all accusations against me were unfounded and purely intended to defame, and am confident that I have at all times acted in the best interest of the IGDA and its membership — but because I must make this decision between concluding a process that will show I did no wrong, and having that process irreparably damage the IGDA, I cannot permit the latter to happen. This has to drive my decision today, taking priority over defending myself against these accusations to a conclusion. There are some who will take my stepping down as an admission of wrongdoing, but they are the same people who if the October 3 Special Meeting had gone ahead resulting in my remaining on the board would have refused to accept that outcome.

Last, I wish to say that the board is full of some incredible people, and you, the membership of the IGDA, are in excellent hands. For my part, I believe I made a solid contribution to the Association in my time on the board, taking on oversight of the web project which was not as advanced as we would have hoped, as head of web tech these past months, I was able to bring round so that the new website should now be able to go live very shortly. I am sorry that I will not personally be overseeing the launch of the new website, but I know that this process is in the excellent hands of a colleague on the board.

I will remain an active member of the IGDA, still supporting it in any way I can as a regular member, and still serving on some fifteen SIGs; indeed my departure from the board will give me more time to devote to supporting the SIGs.

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