Gala Games, the prominent blockchain and web3 gaming ecosystem, is currently embroiled in a significant internal dispute that has sent shockwaves throughout the industry. The conflict involves top management, including CEO Eric Shiermeyer and co-founder Wright Thurston, who are facing accusations of misconduct.
The dispute came to light when Eric Shiermeyer, representing Gala Games, filed a lawsuit against Wright Thurston in a Utah District Court. Shiermeyer alleges that Thurston, with the assistance of his investment firm, True North United Investments, orchestrated the theft of approximately $130 million worth of GALA tokens in Q1 2021. Thurston allegedly conducted complex transactions that moved the tokens from a secure wallet to 43 different wallets. When confronted, Thurston initially claimed the tokens were safe, but he subsequently engaged in a series of intricate transactions, including sales and exchanges, from September 2022 to May 2023.
Moreover, Thurston is accused of acquiring licenses necessary to operate Gala ecosystem nodes without payment and subsequently selling these licenses for personal gain.
In retaliation, Thurston’s company, True North, filed a countersuit against Schiermeyer on Gala’s behalf. This countersuit accuses Schiermeyer of mismanagement, causing Gala to sell and waste valuable company assets, and borrowing millions from Gala for personal expenditures. It also alleges that Schiermeyer set up Gala companies in Switzerland and Dubai without consulting Thurston, despite Thurston being a director of Gala. True North claims that Schiermeyer provided Thurston with incomplete or incorrect business records when requested.
Both leaders are seeking each other’s removal from Gala Games, along with various forms of relief and the return of GALA tokens. Thurston is additionally suing for at least $750 million in damages and other relief.
The lawsuit has shed light on Thurston’s troubled history, including involvement in businesses with legal and financial issues, as well as past disputes with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These factors have raised questions about Thurston’s business ethics and practices.
Gala Games, known for hosting popular games like Champions Arena, Grit, Spider Tanks, and Mirandus, relies heavily on the GALA token for its in-game economy. However, GALA’s value has plummeted by 72% since January, largely due to broader market trends affecting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The ongoing legal disputes have added a layer of uncertainty to Gala Games’ future, causing concerns among investors and stakeholders about its stability and plans.