A number of game companies have distanced themselves from or stopped working with freelance games writer Chris Avellone after allegations of sexual abuse were made against him over the weekend.
While we are not covering the details of the abuse in detail, they are harrowing in their depiction of an influential figure in the games industry who has drawn much admiration over the past decades.
I didn’t bother blowing this up until today due to work being insane all week, but I’ve got the time now. Chris Avellone is an abusive, abrasive, conniving sexual predator. People tried to get him help. He refused it and continued. Stop glorifying him.
— Karissa☕️@✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼|WEARAMASK😷 (@SJBsMama) June 20, 2020
With these accounts having come to light in public, developers and publishers have reacted. Dying Light 2 developer Techland released a statement on Twitter which reads “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, Chris among them. This is why, together with Chris Avellone, we’ve decided to end our cooperation.”
Paradox Interactive explained to Gamasutra that, “Chris Avellone briefly worked with the Bloodlines 2 writing team early in the development of the game. Through an iterative creative process, however, none of his contributions remain in the game that Hardsuit Labs is continuing to develop.”
And Emily Grace Buck, the narrative lead on The Waylanders at Gato Studio whose interview alongside Avellone led to his outing, declared her support for those accusing him. She announced Avellone’s departure from the project this past week. Additionally she explained that he “only wrote a few quests in the game. Which I’m now gonna take an extra look at.”
Avellone acknowledged the situation on Twitter, though declined to give his side of events, defend himself or apologise.
There is nothing to say, really. I should have been better, but I did care very much. We continued to see each other for years after our first meeting, and I have no regrets.
— Chris Avellone (@ChrisAvellone) June 20, 2020
Avellone is a prominent writer within the games industry, having started working in the games industry at Interplay and being a designer and writer on a string of acclaimed RPGs, including Fallout 2, Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment and many more. He co-founded Obsidian Entertainment working on Knights of the Old Republic 2, Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity, before departing in 2015 and working as a consultant and freelance writer.
We appreciate the strength and courage victims of sexual abuse and rape have coming forward to name their accusers. We also wish to state our support for those coming forward and have a zero tolerance policy for abuse at our site.