Starforge Systems, set up by OTK and MoistCr1TiKaL, has been met with some skepticism around pricing and the CEO, who is Artesian Builds’ ex-COO.
Since the announcement of OTK’s new venture, Starforge Systems, a bespoke PC building service, they have been met with some skepticism surrounding the legacy of its top brass, and current issues with pricing on their pre-built PCs.
While OTK’s members and MoistCr1TiKaL are the faces of the company, behind the scenes is Nicholas Dankner, Starforge Systems’s CEO, who also happens to be the ex-COO of the ill-fated Artesian builds. Dankner has effectively erased all mentions of Artesian Builds, by expunging the now-defunct company from his LinkedIn page.
Artesian Builds eventually went out of business after controversy over a stream giveaway, followed by an investigation by GamersNexus alleging the company was being poorly run. CEO Noah Katz was at the center of its implosion, with its catalyst being unfulfilled orders and changing the rules of giveaways after the winner wasn’t popular enough.
Nicholas Dankner left Artesian in 2021, moving to run Stealth Startup. It’s unknown what role Dankner had, if any, in Artesian Builds’ downfall.
The Head of Strategy, Victor Poon, spoke with Inverse in March 2022. Poon described the San Francisco office as ‘unproductive’ and ‘extremely overstaffed’.
However, GamersNexus explained that the eastern US office, which is the one believed that Dankner had a hand in, actually managed to ship PCs, and dealt with the vast majority of orders.
Stealth Startup is currently just four web pages under maintenance. Though, if we were betting, this would be an agency-style arm of Starforge Systems that makes brand deals with companies to feature on their vast creator network.
While both Noah Katz and Artesian Builds’ names were tarnished, Dankner himself has not been tarred with the same brush. It should be noted that an additional splinter group, named Phynix PCs also arose from the ashes of Artesian Builds.
Regardless, the big reveal for Starforge Systems has not exactly gone down well amongst members of MoistCr1TiKaL and OTK communities.
Cr1TiKaL responds to price “backlash”
During his live stream after announcing Starforge Systems, MoistCr1TiKaL (Charles White Jr.) intended to answer questions about the new company. However, it was pointed out that the current offerings are mostly overpriced or outdated.
After this was pointed out, White insisted that OTK and himself, as well as the team at Starforge, were working hard to renew the prices and that they were set ‘eight months ago’ to compete with NZXT and iBuyPower’s prebuilt selection.
“It has come to our attention that these prices aren’t the same now as they were eight months ago,” White stated on his live stream.
“After seeing the criticism, the entire board of OTK, plus myself, got on a call and talked about everything, what’s not working and what we should change based on the feedback.”
White also took a dig at NZXT and iBuyPower for not moving this quickly to rectify an issue.
Update: As of 4PM BST, all prices have been reduced by $100 and the higher tier systems have had parts swapped out, detailed in a Tweet.
Asmongold and OTK have also been reported as banning users on Twitch from the channel’s chat if they happen to be critical of the new venture.
We have reached out for comments from OTK and Starforge Systems.