Today it is common to find numerous reports or complaints from video game studios with toxic work environments, either due to low wages, Crunch or any type of discrimination or mistreatment, with Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft being two of the clearest and most important examples. of this type of environment in part of their studies.
However, they are not the only ones and this labor toxicity also affects independent developers with a smaller size, with two investigations carried out by the YouTube channel People Make Games and the well-known medium VentureBeat that have put four indie studios on the run. very important in the sector.
The investigation of People Make Games has collected the testimonies of 24 employees of Mountains (Florence), Fullbright (Gone Home) and Funomena (Wattam), who point out the bad work environment of these studios with, for example, Ken Wong (founder of Mountains ) being an emotionally abusive boss who constantly belittles his workers, doubting their skills or experience.
Something similar happens with the founder of Funoimena, Robin Hunicke, who uses personal information about his workers to humiliate them or treat them in unprofessional ways, while at Fullbright the work environment is toxic for similar reasons, something that has already caused one of the top managers of the study resigned in August 2021 due to sexism and bad behavior with its employees who fear that these circumstances may be repeated in the future due to the lack of solutions within the study.
For its part, VentureBeat’s investigation focuses on Moon Studios, the developers of the Ori saga that has managed to conquer the hearts of fans of 2D platform games, who have an oppressive work environment because of its founders, Thomas Mahler and Gennadiy Korol, who according to employees are overly critical, unprofessional, and even offensive to developers, with attitudes and comments that, on their own, seem like “little things” but, when accumulated, have a real cost to developer morale and a healthy work environment.