Scavengers Studios faces allegations of a toxic work environment that was rather hostile and demeaning to women employees.
According to a report by GamesIndustry.biz, in which they spoke to nine former and current employees of the company. These employees describe multiple specific incidents of sexual and verbal harassment that occurred dating back to 2018.
These allegations also describe a generally hostile work environment—especially for women—where employees would be publicly degraded, yelled at, and objectified.
In one such incident in 2019, Simon Darveau, Creative Director and then CEO of Scavengers studios, allegedly got drunk at a company party and groped several female employees. One of these employees would resign the following Monday, while another left the company soon after.
Other accusations against him include openly berating employees, making inappropriate remarks about their appearance, and even holding grudges and refusing to talk to employees who he felt had wronged him for weeks on end.
A major concern of the sources was the conflict of interest that exists between Darveau and current CEO Amélie Lamarche. The two co-founded the studio and were allegedly in a romantic relationship for a number of years. Because Scavengers Studio didn’t have a proper HR department or procedures for many years, the only recourse employees had was to complain to Lamarche directly, who apparently would repeatedly downplay Darveau’s toxic behaviour.
Recently Amélie has released a statement addressing the allegations and outlining several actions the company is taking as a result of the allegations including an external audit of the workplace and its practices.
The claims in the report may be quite old and are most likely coming to light now as attention turns to the studio’s promising new project Season, which was revealed last month at The Game Awards.
Season is said to be about a young woman biking through a serene backdrop and slowly uncovering the mystery of a recurring cataclysm that has halted the world’s ability to progress. We will see what impact this situation will have on this planned PS5 exclusive.
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