Developers who worked with Avellone are weighing in on his contributions to upcoming games.
Update, June 22 (5:10 p.m. ET): Techland released a statement saying it’s ending its business with Chris Avellone.
Update June 23 (12:25 p.m. ET): Ubisoft issues a statement on the allegations.
Update June 23 (2:23 p.m. ET): Gato Salvaje Studio, the company behind Waylanders, released a statement on Twitter that Avellone is longer associated with the project.
What you need to know
- Games writer Chris Avellone was accused of sexual harassment and abuse by multiple people over the weekend.
- Developers have spoken out about his involvement with their games.
- This is just one of many accusations that have hit social media about prominent members of the gaming and streaming industries.
Prominent games writer Chris Avellone, known for his contributions to games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Prey, and many upcoming titles, was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women over the weekend.
Now, some developers are speaking out about his contributions in light of the accusations.
Paradox Interactive, the company behind Vampire the Masquerade — Bloodlines 2, said that Avellone’s contributions had been removed from the game, but that he only worked on the game briefly.
“Chris Avellone briefly worked with the Bloodlines 2 writing team early in the development of the game,” said Paradox in a statement to Gamasutra. “Through an iterative creative process, however, none of his contributions remain in the game that Hardsuit Labs is continuing to develop.”
Avellone was also working on Waylanders, an upcoming party-based RPG that just entered Early Access. Emily Grace Buck, the lead writer on the game, said on Twitter that Avellone was no longer involved with the project.
“Chris is no longer on the project, and I’ve been the lead writer all along, not him,” Buck said on Twitter. “Waylanders has very little writing by him as it stands, and I’ll be taking a look at his scenes. No one on the team knew anything about this. We’re handling it, and I’m open to feedback.”
Chris is no longer on the project, and I’ve been the lead writer all along, not him.
Waylanders has very little writing by him as it stands, and I’ll be taking a look at his scenes.
No one on the team knew anything about this. We’re handling it, and I’m open to feedback. https://t.co/f4rNcFMS6K
— Emily Grace Buck (@emilybuckshot) June 20, 2020
Meanwhile, Avellone was also involved with Dying Light 2, which is currently still in development despite multiple delays. Developer Techland said it is “looking very closely” into the allegations.
“”We take matters of sexual harassment and disrespect with utmost care, and have no tolerance for such behaviors,” a spokesperson told Gamasutra. “That is why we are currently looking very closely into the matter. We will provide you with information on our next steps soon.”
Avellone was accused by multiple women on social media over the weekend of sexual harassment and abuse, including one who said the writer got her “blackout drunk” and made advances on her. An indie developer commented on the Twitter thread, adding that Avellone repeatedly groped her.
Avellone has responded to some of the tweets on Twitter, but hasn’t issued a statement at the time of this writing.
He’s one of many prominent figures in the gaming and streaming industries to get called out on social media over the weekend and on Monday. Andrien Gbinigie, product and brand marketing manager at Ubisoft was accused by women on Twitter of sexual harassment and abuse. Gbinigie has denied the allegations in a post on Medium.
A lot of the accusations say the incidents happened at gaming industry events.
Meanwhile, Twitch is in hot water for how it operates with those accused of being toxic members of the industry. CEO Emmett Shear was accused by a music streamer of laughing off reports of abuse in a previous All Hands meeting. Other streamers, along with former VP at Twitch Justin Wong, have taken to Twitter to discuss how the platform failed to handle abuse by affiliates.
In response, Twitter released a statement vowing to take action.
“We take accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct extremely seriously. We are actively looking into the accounts concerning streamers affiliated with Twitch and will work with law enforcement where applicable,” it read.
— Twitch (@Twitch) June 22, 2020
Update, June 22 (5:10 p.m. ET) — Techland responds to Chris Avellone allegations
After previously saying it was investigating the allegations, Dying Light 2 developer Techland said it’s ending its “cooperation” with the writer.
“We treat matters of sexual harassment and disrespect with utmost care, and have no tolerance for such behaviors — it applies to both our employees as well as external consultants. This is why, together with Chris Avellone, we’ve decided to end our cooperation,” a spokesperson for the company said in a tweet.
Here’s the statement regarding our cooperation with Chris Avellone: pic.twitter.com/ozLXZdVPZw
— Techland (@TechlandGames) June 22, 2020
You can read the full statement above.
Update June 23 (12:25 p.m. ET) — Ubisoft spokesperson says they’re looking into the allegations
A spokesperson from Ubisoft sent a statement to Windows Central on the allegations.
“We are deeply concerned by these accusations. We take any allegations of abuse or harassment very seriously and we are looking very closely into the allegations to determine next steps.”
Update June 23 (2:23 p.m. ET) — Gato Salvaje Studio responds to allegations
Gato Salvaje Studio, the company behind Waylanders, issued a statement on Twitter about Avellone’s contributions to the project and what it plans to do going forward.
“Chris was brought on as a design contractor for The Waylanders. As of last week, Chris’s contract is complete and the content provided will be assessed as development progresses.”
The team here at Gato Salvaje spent the past few days reading the stories shared online and reflecting. We have prepared the following statement with regards to the allegations made against Chris Avellone. pic.twitter.com/GTPjJcXfOs
— Gato Studio (@GatoStudioGames) June 22, 2020
You can read the full statement above.
Updated June 23 (12:25 p.m. ET): A version of this post mentioned Ashraf Ismail. He had been accused of infidelity on social media over the weekend. We removed his name to clarify.