To our community,
I would like to publicly address the recent situation surrounding the release of the Celestial Keycap series.
To give you some background about the sets and clarify what happened. The designs for Celestial began in early 2021. The sets were made as part of a much larger group of new colorway accessories being designed specifically for the GMMK PRO, including many different color gradient keysets, coiled cables, top frames, and knobs.
After receiving a lot of community feedback on our previously released GPBT sets (both positive and negative), our design team went back to the drawing board and eventually came up with an aesthetically-pleasing basic gradient pattern template, and developed an improved custom font. This core design was then disseminated into several dozen different colorways to match the rest of the accessories.
We chose what we believed would be the 2 most popular as our first two releases - the red and blue gradients. Celestial Fire had been designed with an Orange/Red to Black “twilight”/sunset gradient, intended to match our red accessories. Neither set was modeled after or inspired by any specific existing set.
However, at some point midway through the production process, it came to light internally that the Celestial Fire colorway looked similar to that of an existing set put out by Alexotos, a respected content creator within the hobby. Alex was also someone we’ve worked with on various content collaborations in the past. His set was called “Aether”, and featured a vibrant red to black color gradient.
Although the colorways were similar, after internal discussion, our production teams agreed the final design was not a copy of Aether, and continued with production. We did not consult Alex at this time, as we were confident the keycap set had enough differences, and Aether was no longer being produced.
Several weeks ago when the first rounds of Celestial finished production, we began sending samples out to select content creator partners for review. At this time, one of those partners mentioned similarities of Celestial Fire to Aether.
We have worked with Alex in both paid and unpaid capacities in the past. He was paid for work he did on our sound test videos for Lynx, and we provided only free products for everything he produced on his own channels as a neutral reviewer. We highly respect and value him as a creator, an artist, and a partner.
About 2 weeks before launch we reached out to Alex directly to get his personal feedback. During this call, Alex expressed his clear disappointment upon seeing the similarities between the sets. He informed us that he had been planning a Round 2 release of Aether (which we weren’t previously aware of), and that Celestial Fire could harm him financially for that reason. We expressed this wasn’t our intention, and explained the background of the set.
The next day, we reached back out to Alex with intentions of coming to a mutual resolution to preserve our working relationship. Unfortunately, we were not able to come to an agreement at that time.
Given the first batches of Celestial had already been made, we proceeded with a release.
While those who are new to the hobby may not be aware, within the keyboard community, keycap sets are not just seen as expensive, dyed pieces of plastic. They are considered works of art. And like any work of art, the artist can only make a living if they are able to protect their work.
We are well aware that it is a hotly debated issue within the keyboard community about what constitutes a “copied” keycap set, and what is or isn’t ethical for a company to release. We know our own customers have many differing opinions on this.
However, the enthusiast mechanical keyboard hobby was built and grown by small, independent creators and artists, like Alex. We owe our success within this market to those creators who have paved the way for the products we’ve been able to put out.
Regardless of what is considered a copy or not, what is important to Glorious, is that a growing company like us is able to exist symbiotically within this community, without stepping on the toes of the smaller creators who built it. To that end, we realize we made a mistake proceeding with the release of this keycap set without informing and involving Alex much earlier in the process
Since the release of Celestial, we have received a lot of feedback from both customers and partners. The passion from the community about this topic is clear, and many feel angered & hurt by the situation.
Ultimately, we want to do what is right by our community and by Alex. We have been in contact with him since the launch, and after hearing his feelings on this situation and a productive discussion, we have come to an amicable resolution with him.
The resolution included an offer to help compensate him financially, which Alex respectfully turned down. More importantly to Alex, we have also heard and agreed to his ideas for how we can do a much better job of working within the community going forward. We want to do a better job incorporating the community as a whole during the early production process of all our keyboard products so that this doesn’t happen again.
Overall, we want to ensure the community creators feel respected and valued as we continue to grow along with the hobby.
To Alex personally, we apologize for the stress this whole situation has caused. Alex is widely known to be a role model within the community, and he is genuinely a great person. To the mechanical keyboard community as a whole and our customers, we also sincerely apologize for any offense we have caused.
I’m confident that the resolution we’ve come to with Alex will help foster a positive change not just within the company, but within the community as a whole.