Steve Gaynor steps down amid allegations of toxic work environment

Avatar image for brian_
brian_

1024

Forum Posts

11370

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

#1  Edited By brian_

Fullbright co-founders Steve Gaynor accused of employee mistreatment - Polygon

The brunt of the allegations report that since development of Fullbright's up-coming game Open Roads, 15 employees have left the studio, 12 of which say it was in part due to Gaynor's behavior with employees, and 10 of which were women. Former employees say Gaynor was controlling and demeaning, micromanaging women in leadership roles, and disparaging women on staff. One former employee likened it to working for a "high school mean girl" with six other collaborating that characterization. Gaynor remains on as a writer for the game.

Avatar image for tartyron
tartyron

646

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Another lead position with problematic behavior. I sometimes wonder if there are any that aren’t secret creeps. And I liked Gaynor from past interviews, it’s a shame.

Tim Schafer seems alright. Just like Tom Hanks, I’m really hoping it doesn’t turn out Tim is a secret creep. I’ve had enough of secret creeps.

Avatar image for kcin
kcin

1140

Forum Posts

9

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

It is telling to look at the Twitter accounts of those who have worked with Steve on Minerva's Den or at Fullbright, who follow each other but do not follow Steve.

Avatar image for bladeofcreation
BladeOfCreation

2405

Forum Posts

27

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 3

He apologized for his "leadership style," which is just another way of using the passive voice to not admit blame.

This shit happens at indie studios and between indie devs all the time. Anyone who follows enough indies on Twitter would be aware that the space is full of nepotism and people being shitty to each other. For the most part, they're just people with a few thousands of followers rather than tens of thousands of followers, so abusive indies don't rate the same level of scrutiny that an awful place like Activision-Blizzard does.

Stop having heroes.

Avatar image for sombre
sombre

1822

Forum Posts

19

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

I liked him on Idle Thumbs

Avatar image for efesell
Efesell

7217

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I've seen people here and there comment about triple A problems or the evils of big companies like Activision-Blizzard and its good (it sucks) to remember that this is an industry problem and be careful about all your little favorites as well.

Avatar image for mellotronrules
mellotronrules

3423

Forum Posts

26

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#7  Edited By mellotronrules

yeah, really disappointing. i liked 'gone home,' and while i was largely neutral on the guy prior to this- he did run in circles with people i respect.

always glad to see this behaviour exposed though- if you can't treat people well, you can't expect to have that aspect of your life remain private.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
ripelivejam

13572

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Ugh and here I thought he was a cool guy.

Avatar image for clagnaught
clagnaught

2520

Forum Posts

413

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 19

This sucks. I know of people who left Fullbright over the years. Not sure if they made a statement (I assume not based on the anonymous sources behind that article), but still sad to think that it was bad enough for so many people to quit / give up on the industry entirely.

Avatar image for monkeyking1969
monkeyking1969

9014

Forum Posts

1241

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 18

Leadership is a skill and too often it is given to the guy with the money, the big idea, or the 'name'. People who are often good at making things or thinking up things are often NOT the people you want leading the group.

It the classics issue of not wanting to lose control of something you are creating, without realizing you were never in control and you had been screwing up from day one. The one guy who never takes 'no' for an answer, is the guy who need to be managed most.

Avatar image for oursin_360
OurSin_360

6675

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Seems like he realized his behavior was bad and stepped down months ago before any media coverage, so why exactly is this news right now?

Avatar image for brian_
brian_

1024

Forum Posts

11370

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

#12  Edited By brian_

@oursin_360: Because it effects the development of an upcoming game? Because the game industry has been, is, and continues to be problematic, and people need to be aware of that? Because the people effected by his bad management continue to be effected by it, and that doesn't go away just because he stepped down?

Avatar image for lonelyspacepanda
LonelySpacePanda

1154

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 17

User Lists: 11

I got such a bad vibe from him on GB E3 couch. He just had that kind of weird, entitled quality, like he'd act up if he's not the center of attention (a bit like Phil Fish). None of this surprises me nor takes away the enjoyment I got from Gone Home years ago.

Avatar image for swthompson
swthompson

138

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I agree with the conclusion of the article here. Why is this dude still writing a game about women when he's clearly a shitbag about women?

I think Annapurna and Fullbright leadership have to convince me that they're actually doing something here. Step 1: take him off the goddamn game. Much in the same way that I'm deeply uninterested in games from Gamergators, I don't want to play another Gaynor game. Sorry not sorry.

Avatar image for bisonhero
BisonHero

12674

Forum Posts

625

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 2

@swthompson: None of the articles seem to delve into this, but I think it may be hard to fully remove Gaynor because he may still be part-owner of Fullbright? He is one of the three founders of the original LLC, though I don’t see much thorough info out there on if at some point the company was bought by any other investor.

The articles do mention Gaynor belittling employees in front of “leadership”, but it’s unclear to me who that is. If it’s studio leadership I have no idea, as I don’t think there has ever been public studio heads of Fullbright other than Gaynor and other founders. If it’s publisher leadership, that makes a little more sense.

Evidently Gaynor sees himself as Fullbright and Fullbright is Gaynor, based on the reporting. I assume it took considerable pressure from Annapurna to even make him step aside into just a writing role. Annapurna doesn’t own Fullbright, but if his behaviour was threatening the project they could exert some pressure on internal studio operation and make him step aside. Anyway, if Gaynor still has any ownership in Fullbright, it might be difficult to fully remove him unless everyone else with ownership in the company basically demands that he have absolutely no involvement in the day-to-day operation of the company.

It honestly would make more sense for everyone to just quit the studio and let the name wither and die.

Avatar image for lapsariangiraff
lapsariangiraff

570

Forum Posts

629

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 3

It honestly would make more sense for everyone to just quit the studio and let the name wither and die.

In theory, I agree, but unfortunately steady jobs in games are hard enough to come by that I doubt the people left at Fullbright want to do that. Obviously, the studio shrank from 20 people to 6, so at least 14 people had a similar sentiment, but for folks invested in the project or just unwilling to move for a new job the 3rd or 4th time this decade, it makes more sense to stay.

After they ship, though, if Gaynor is still around? Oh yeah, continued exodus.

Avatar image for ryudo
ryudo

307

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

He's gone home.

Avatar image for obamasamerica
ObamasAmerica

65

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@sombre said:

I liked him on Idle Thumbs

I'm just going to go asleep and not wake up if it ever comes out that Chris Remo stomps around his game studio like a tiny fascist and is mean to women.