What you need to know
- Rocksteady Games is a U.K. studio known for working on the Batman: Arkham games.
- Per a report from The Guardian, Rocksteady leadership has ignored multiple reports of sexual harassment.
- Women at the studio signed a letter in November 2018 bringing up several issues.
- After being contacted by The Guardian, Rocksteady leadership has now looked at the letter.
Update 2, August 21 (5:16 p.m. ET): Rocksteady Games has released a second statement, alleging that the studio did listen to the feedback received in the November 2018 letter and instituted new practices for better inclusion.
Update 1, August 19 (1:35 p.m. ET): Rocksteady Games responded to The Guardian's report with a statement on Twitter allegedly written by 7 women at Rocksteady.
Rocksteady Games is best-known for its work on the Batman: Arkham series. It's also working on an upcoming Suicide Squad title, which is being revealed at DC Fandome. Unfortunately, according to a report from The Guardian, leadership issues are allegedly failing to address sexual harassment at the studio.
The article reports that in November 2018, over half the women at the studio brought a letter to the leadership team raising complaints about the use of slurs towards transgender employees, unwanted advances, and instances of people "discussing a woman in a derogatory or sexual manner with other colleagues."
"I have heard everything from groping claims to incidents involving [senior staff], all of whom are men," one signer, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Guardian.
The only action reportedly taken was a one-hour training seminar. Several of the women who signed the letter later left the studio over a lack of action taken. Kim MacAskill, a writer who worked on the upcoming Suicide Squad game, publicly asked not to be credited for her work due to the reports of harassment.
When The Guardian contacted Rocksteady for comment, management held an all-hands meeting to address the letter. As a result of this meeting, new initiatives are reportedly being taken to prevent harassment in the future. In a statement, a Rocksteady spokesperson said:
This news comes at a time when a wave of abuse and misconduct reports have gone through the gaming industry. Ubisoft has fired or let go of multiple executives even as more staff are accused of sexual harassment. One of the signers who shared the Rocksteady letter with The Guardian cited some of these recent examples as part of the reason for exposing the company.
Update, August 19 (1:35 p.m. ET) — Rocksteady responds
Rocksteady Games published the following message on Twitter in response to the original report from The Guardian. The message is allegedly from seven women working at Rocksteady who originally signed the letter. The message states that the signatories do not believe The Guardian's report is a "fair representation" and that immediate action was taken after management received the letter.
While working on our response to the recent news, we received the following unsolicited letter. pic.twitter.com/sozmsp6u3CWhile working on our response to the recent news, we received the following unsolicited letter. pic.twitter.com/sozmsp6u3C— Rocksteady Studios (@RocksteadyGames) August 19, 2020August 19, 2020
Update, June 15 (5:16 p.m. ET) — This update will change your life
Rocksteady Games has released a second statement, alleging that it received the feedback of the letter in November 2018 and instituted new measures for better inclusivity, as well as bringing in a third-party company to speak anonymously with Rocksteady employees.
I wonder if this was a contributing factor in AT&T trying to sell of Warner Media Games? The gaming community seems to be a magnet for controversy lately.
Not sure if the gaming community can be the sole factor. We tend to notice it more because we pay attention to it. These types of issues happen in all sectors but I doubt the company who makes my garlic salt has an industry of blogs covering them to the level we cover the IT and Gaming industries. This goes down to poor leadership and could be a reason why AT&T wants to sell. It could also be why no one has bought at this point. Microsoft may love the IP but the talent may be poison. Rocksteady needs to clean house after investigating the claims for their validity.
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