Scavengers Studio is now mired in controversy. The indie studio suspended their creative director and CEO over allegations of a hostile, toxic workplace.
Among the people suspended, two of their top people received a reprimand from the board. Scavengers Studio CEO Amélie LaMarche and creative director Simon Darveau received several accusations from their own people.
Among the accusations, employees note that both were the center of abusive language and a hostile, sexist working environment.
LaMarche and Darveau had conflicts of interest
Scavengers is a Montreal-based studio with as many as 40 employees. The indie dev studio was made famous by a game called Season. The title was about a young woman biking through a serene backdrop.
A report notes that nine employees both past and current detail specific instances of sexual and verbal harassment. Many of these dated back to 2018 and created a hostile workplace.
Some of the employees claim they received degrading remarks during these explosions from both founders.
Another chunk of complaints claims that there was a lot of yelling and objectification, with some incidences happening during a company party. Around this time, Darveau allegedly groped some female employees.
Another major concern for the employees where the conflicts of interest between Darveau and LaMarche.
Complainants alleged the two had a romantic partnership, and LaMarche downplayed Darveau’s behavior.
According to the sources, LaMarche, acting as the HR during the time when they didn’t have such a dedicated department, downplayed Darveau’s behavior.
“Darveau…has lots of charisma and he gets away with a lot,” said one of the sources. “But (Lamarche)…is actually worse. Because she covered a lot of what he did or what he does.”
Darveau suspended indefinitely
The statement is addressing the allegations and outlining their upcoming actions.
“Following the toxic workplace allegations brought forward in the media, Scavengers Studio wishes to apologize for the harm caused,” said the statement undersigned by LaMarche.
“Allegations such as these are serious, and we are committed to doing better for our employees, our fans, and our partners.”
The company will hire a third-party auditing firm to look into the issues listed. The company suspended Simon Darveau indefinitely from all his responsibilities as part of the company’s board. LaMarche is also stepping down as CEO for the duration of the audit.
The statement claims that the company will share the results with all employees of Scavengers Studio once they come out.
Featured image courtesy of Playstation/Youtube Screenshot