Scavengers Studio has released a statement in regards to the abuse allegations within the studio. Among multiple steps, including an investigation into the situation, Scavengers Studio has indefinitely suspended Simon Darveau, Creative Director of the upcoming game Season.
Simon Darveau is the co-founder of Scavengers Studio and the person who is accused of toxic behaviors, abuse, inappropriate harassment, and more. After an emergency meeting with the board of directors, Scavenger Studio made the decision to suspend Darveau. Whether the suspension is with or without pay is not known. The decisions do not stop there, however, as co-founder Amélie Lamarche has also decided to step down from her role as Chief Executive temporarily.
Lamarche and Darveau have been romantically linked, which made the situation very difficult for other employees. Because the two are the co-founders of the company, employees were unable to properly voice their concerns. Thus, Lamarche is being accused of fostering a toxic work environment as well, as the belittling and grouping of female employees, affairs, and drunken behavior took place around her. Scavengers Studio is a very small studio, so no official HR department was in place, unfortunately. But even large studios have been known to have issues like this, as EA has sexual misconduct allegations last summer.
Along with Darveau being suspended and Lamarche stepping away for a time, there will be an independent workplace audit and investigation that will take place. The audit will look at the culture and practices of the studio. While this process is taking place, the current Director of Operations, Daisy Lilly Best, has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer.
This part of the process may take some time, and that is okay. A quick and thorough investigation could be a sloppy and incomplete one. Thus, Scavengers Studio is specifically asking for some patience and understanding from the community. When the results of the independent investigation are in, Daisy Lilly Best and the board of directors will take further action.
Scavengers Studio has been working hard on Season for quite some time, especially since the Darwin Project was officially shut down last year. For the sake of the individuals who are hard at work and attempting to do the best they can in an environment that sounds less than enjoyable, hopefully, the workplace culture does a 180. Season has a chance to be a special game, but those who are working diligently on it deserve to be able to work in a special environment as well.
Season is in development for PC and PS5.