Game developer

Indie game developer Funomena could close due to allegations of workplace harassment

Funomenathe developer of niche indie games such as Wattham, Earthand Tights recently came under fire due to allegations of mistreatment and abuse by Robin Hunicke, one of its founders. Studio employees, current and former, have described Hunicke as “emotionally violent”, and this information appears to have caused the studio’s value to plummet in the eyes of investors.

So to speak, Funomena might end up leaving the indie game development scene for good. By the studio’s own admission, it was closing a series of investments ahead of the recent GDC event, and may still have the opportunity to do so, if all goes well.

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Detailed information on how the mistreatment took place at Funomena was shared in a recent video documentary detailing several incidents of unrelated harassment. The video itself was hosted by People Make Games’ Chris Bratt, who also announced that Funomena would be shutting down towards the end of the month. According to Bratt, all of the contractors had already been laid off and the permanent staff would receive their final paychecks this Friday, though the studio’s official statement claims the situation isn’t so damning after all.


According to Funomena’s announcement, the staff had already been warned that the studio would close if the fundraiser failed, and there is still a possibility that funding could still be secured. The information shared by Bratt, however, suggests that the staff were taken by surprise and things may already be set in stone, which contradicts Funomena’s statements. Waiting, Super Light Wanderer and solar ash The developer, Heart Machine, has already reached out to the departing Funomena staff with hiring opportunities via Twitter.

Regardless of how the situation develops over the next few days, it’s clear that the damage has already been done, and even the best-case scenario isn’t so good for Funomena in the long run. Workplace harassment has been a long-standing issue in the video game industry, and even the Entertainment Software Agency released a statement exposing the abuse following Activision Blizzard’s revelations last year.


It may be important to keep in mind that bringing these allegations to light is a good thing in the long run, as people need to be aware that there is a problem before action can be taken to fix it. solve. Key players are already taking action against instances of workplace harassment, such as Paradox Interactive’s External Allegations Report released earlier this year, which could lead to lasting positive changes in the grand scheme of things.

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