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Scavengers Studio Suspends Creative Director In Response To Abuse Allegations

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Scavengers Studio has released a response to the allegations that went public earlier this week, citing a predatory and toxic involvement at work centered on Creative Director Simon Darveau and his then-romantic partner CEO Amélie Lamarche.

GameIndustry.biz’s original report detailed a dark side of the business (supported by conversations with nine current and former Scavengers Studio employees), with many supposed issues starting at the top with Darveau. In an environment teeming with creativity and excitement for games like Darwin Project and Season, the article revealed that the studio’s culture was tinged with toxicity, with complaints that women were specifically targeted under the umbrella of Scavengers.

From sexual harassment to physical assault, the allegations against Darveau and his partner are serious, so much so that the Creative Director has been suspended and the studio itself has released a statement.

“Following the allegations of toxicity in the workplace advanced in the media, Scavengers Studio wishes to apologize for the harm caused,” read the official statement from Lamarche herself. “Such allegations are serious and we are committed to doing better for our employees, fans and partners.”

After hearing the allegations against the creative director, the company held an emergency meeting with the board of directors to discuss what to do from here. While a larger plan is being developed to see how this escalated without control and what the culture will be from now on, the team detailed an effective action plan immediately:

  • Simon Darveau is indefinitely suspended from all responsibilities within the company and the board of directors.
  • An external audit firm will conduct an independent workplace assessment and audit of our culture and practices.
  • Daisy Lilly Best, currently COO, is appointed Chief Operating Officer and will report directly to the Board of Directors for the duration of the audit to ensure full transparency and accountability.
  • The audit report will be shared in its entirety with the team and presented by Daisy to the board of directors for actions to be taken.

The statement goes on to say: “To ensure a transparent, fair and impartial process, I have offered to temporarily step down from my position as Managing Director for the duration of the audit. I will remain available to support the normal course of the studio’s business.

“In the meantime, we ask for the patience and understanding of the community throughout this process. The team of the season put their hearts into the project. We have full confidence in their creative direction and will continue to support the incredible work of our talented people. team.”

The original GameIndustry.biz report reveals abuse dating back to 2018 (so far) with cases of verbal and sexual assault, public degradation and employee objectification, and even a recorded moment where Darveau was allegedly drunk at a holiday party. in 2019 and fiddled with several employees in full view of other employees. One of the women groping meanwhile says she quit the company the following Monday.

Regarding the alleged relationship between Darveau and Lamarche, employees who spoke with GI.biz said there was still a concern about a conflict of interest. Since there was no effective HR department in place during this time, there was no real way for employees to voice these concerns, especially when many of these women described Darveau as someone else. ‘one who had “a lot of charisma” and because of that he “gets away with it a lot.” One employee even went so far as to say that Lamarche was even worse because “she covered up a lot of what ‘he was doing or what he was doing’.

While it is good that immediate action is taken and the responsibility exists, the way a crop like this is grown for so long is a much bigger issue. We’ve seen this over and over again, most recently with the Me Too movement that Ubisoft experienced publicly in the summer of 2020. How does this level of abuse continue to occur? Is it safe for people to express themselves? These are questions this industry cannot hide from, and as similar reports of abuse continue to surface, we must work to address them directly.

[[[[Source: Scavengers Studio]

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