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Season - a game made by (yet another) toxic game studio


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Update: 1 January 2021.

 

Was: a nice-looking game.

 

Is: a nice-looking game being made by an abusive studio; it's nice to know the Ubisoft legacy extends to indie studios created in its wake. Short version: studio's creative designer is a gropey wee shite; the CEO (his ex-partner) doesn't care; female employees face sexist, infantalising treatment; employees are generally insulted and treated as disposable; nothing is done about any of it.

 

Long version: this delightful article.

 

Selected quotes:

 

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Several said women were frequently degraded by male employees including Darveau, or infantilized and treated as if they did not know what they were talking about even when speaking from a position of expertise about their own work.

 

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Several also said that beyond being degraded, many women at the studio were victims of sexist remarks and behaviors, both from [creative designer] Darveau and from a handful of other male employees.

 

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Those we spoke to agreed that this environment was allowed to fester in large part due to the fact that much of the sexist conduct was either instigated by Darveau or a handful of employees he favored.

 

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One major incident that many we spoke to were aware of occurred in mid-2018, and involved an employee who one day simply stopped showing up to work. Sometime later, an office meeting was called in which it was announced that she wouldn't be returning. Employees who spoke to Lamarche later told the story around the office: Darveau allegedly had an affair with the employee, and Lamarche had found out. No one was able to confirm whether or not the employee had left of her own volition following this incident... One source said that Darveau later explained his behavior to others by comparing himself to a dog in heat -- unable to control himself.

 

Quote

Multiple sources claim they saw [Darveau] inappropriately touch and grab multiple female employees. One employee who was there described Darveau as "in full predator mode."

One of the women Darveau is said to have harassed quit the following Monday; at least one other left the studio not long after.

 

Quote

They said there was an attempt to clarify the harassment policy and to put in a reporting process for incidents that didn't involve either co-founder, but no specifics of why this was happening were mentioned... Two of the employees who were there at the time said they recall Darveau cracking jokes through the entire meeting. They described him as "being like a teenager in the audience" and "laughing and riffing on whatever the sexual harassment policies were."

 

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Many sources cited a specific incident in 2018 where he pulled an employee into a meeting room with himself and Lamarche and yelled such that employees outside the room could hear something going on, until he finally left the room and slammed the door. The employee being yelled at quit immediately following this incident, but four sources said that Darveau had pulled other employees into meeting rooms to scream at them similarly on multiple other occasions.

 

Fuck Scavengers Studio.

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I’m generally a sucker for this kind of art direction but I didn’t feel much for this trailer at all :( The environments looks so dead and empty and the animation looks really stiff. Hopefully it’s just me having some beef with this trailer and the actual game turns out fine but I’m not expecting great things yet.

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