Rocksteady is one of the biggest game studios in the UK, being best-known for its work on the Batman: Arkham franchise. According to a new report from The Guardian, 10 of the 16 women at the studio signed a letter to their bosses in 2018 that accused management of allowing a culture of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior to fester.
As an anonymous signatory to the letter revealed, it was initially kept private due to the company’s secretive nature, as well as fears that the signers would be kept off the credits for the studio’s upcoming Suicide Squad game. (This is a pervasive and justified fear in the games industry among vulnerable workers.) However, according to the report, since the letter was sent, management’s response has been a single hour-long training seminar, and several of the signers have since left the company due to working conditions.
“I have heard everything from groping claims to incidents involving directors, all of whom are men,” the signatory told the Guardian. “Yet the only thing we had as a result was a company-wide seminar that lasted an hour. Everyone who attended was asked to sign a statement confirming that they’d received the training. It felt that it was a just way for them to cover their arses.”
Rocksteady offered a statement in response to the allegations going public. “In 2018 we received a letter from some of our female employees expressing concerns they had at that time, and we immediately took firm measures to address the matters that were raised,” a portion of it reads. “Over the subsequent two years we have carefully listened to and learned from our employees, working to ensure every person on the team feels supported. In 2020 we are more passionate than ever to continue to develop our inclusive culture, and we are determined to stand up for all of our staff.”
According to The Guardian, after Rocksteady’s management became aware of the impending report, the studio called an all-hands meeting, promising initiatives to prevent further discrimination. Rocksteady was in the news recently promoting its newly-revealed Suicide Squad game.
These new allegations come on the heels of a widespread reckoning with sexual harassment and sexism across the games industry, with large firms like Ubisoft firing several employees across its many studios for toxic, illegal, and unethical behavior.
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