Artesian Builds, a company that has been the center of a controversy in the Twitch community for the past week, announced on Tuesday that it has suspended all business activities. The announcement comes after the CEO of the PC building business belittled a small streamer named Kiapiaa who won one of their PC giveaways, and refused to give her the prize, leading to massive backlash online.
"We are sad to announce that, effective now, we are freezing/suspending all activities," the business stated on Twitter. "Ongoing is analysis by outside counsel for [reorganization] to ensure fair treatment of clients, creditors, and employees. We expect more info by month's end. We are open to assistance/investment."
The internet outraged by Artesian Builds giveaway scandal
The organization has faced a large amount of backlash online related to a giveaway stream that it hosted last week. That giveaway was for the brand ambassadors of Artesian Builds, who are streamers who can sign up to represent the company by promoting them on-stream and in their bios in exchange for a small commission on any PC sales. After Kiapiaa's name was drawn live on air, the CEO Noah Katch made numerous comments about Kia's following size and then ultimately denied her the PC.
"If you haven't heard @ArtesianBuilds do not care about their small streamer ambassadors," Kia said on Twitter after she was rejected. "They have monthly PC giveaways for their ambassadors, great, right? Except they don't care for small streamers. I got chosen and they changed their rules last minute I won the PC Fair and square. The rules say that you need the Artesian panel in your twitch About, and I do have it. So what's the issue @AretsianBuilds?"
Artesian Builds ended up issuing an initial poorly received "apology", followed by a more contrite statement later on Mar. 1st in which they admitted Kia was the rightful owner of the PC. However, by then it was too late for the company to rebuild that bridge, as Kia rejected the PC offer to stand with small streamers everywhere. Kia also ironically picked up thousands of followers along the way, as the controversy introduced her to a wider audience, making her a much bigger streamer by the end.
Artesian Builds loses multiple partners amid backlash
Following the scandal going viral, numerous streamers who were sponsored by Artesian Builds weighed in. Nick Mercs said "I don't like it," while OTK cut ties with their former sponsor. Mizkif then trashed the quality of one of the PCs he got from Artesian Builds on stream, calling it "garbage sh*t", though he later clarified that not all the PCs he got from the company were poor in quality.
On top of that, Twitch streamer Onepeg did some digging and claimed that he discovered Artesian Builds had their status with the Franchise Tax Board in Califonia suspended, which could potentially mean the company will struggle to operate in California.
Given Tuesday's grim announcement, the situation is bad enough now that Artesian Builds is struggling to remain a viable business. Trainwreck offered to buy the company and "run it right" in response to a Tweet from Artesian Builds saying the company was examining the potential for an employee-led buy-out amid backlash toward the CEO. Maybe that is their best option at this point.
It is possible Artesian Builds will pull through or get bought out, but for now, things aren't looking good. It turns out that it doesn't pay to be a jerk to streamers, no matter how small you may think them to be.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.