AAA Game Studios and Sexual Harassment

Disclaimer: I, in no way, support or condone the sexual harassment behavior in the game industry.

Disclaimer: I myself experienced 4 pages of writing worth of sexual harassment by both men and women in the industry during my time there some of which impacted my career when I chose to not participate.

I’m explaining how things are based on my experience and knowledge which is way more than anyone posting news articles or twitter posts online typically.

I can make this post last forever or continue it in stages.

Game Industry = Hollywood = Music Industry

That’s what millennials and Gen Z don’t understand. They get into the game industry out of college and have zero history of the game industry or what they’re even joining. They think they are joining a regular corporation. They are like, hey I played some games at home I like and applied or joined a game company. Now I know everything! Game companies were always different, they were in line with Hollywood and the music industry because they are all ENTERTAINMENT COMPANIES.

Now let’s talk about sister entertainment groups:

Hollywood Sexual Abuse
120 years of the casting couch. Women were forced to sleep with men to succeed and negative relationships hurt or destroyed their careers. What’s always curious was that this is an OPEN SECRET. Everyone knows/knew including the industry, actors, and customers (US). Yet nothing was ever done until the #metoo movement where they finally spoke up. Look at how long that problem existed and still exists today. Plus the pedos in the industry has never been addressed that groom child actors.

Hollywood got away with it with FIXERS who cover this shit up with threats, deaths, bribes or by running people’s careers

A lot of these wankers are right back at it and still doing fine even after these revelations

Music Industry Sex & Drugs
What do we know about them? The bands sleep with groupies. Watch the 20+ movies about it (or books perhaps). In addition, the industry is plagued by drugs. Look at all the musicians that have died to drugs on a regular basis even in 2022. A friend went into that industry and they basically made him a drug runner for the band(s). He quit because he wanted to make music and produce music, not deal drugs. And he met lots of stars and famous bands along the way.

The music industry got away with it with FIXERS who cover this shit up with threats, deaths, bribes.

Back to Game Industry
The game industry was also modeled after those two. Game developers, especially famous ones (early on), are like rock stars/musicians and act in the exact same way. The more famous they are, the more they attract fans and sometimes engage in those relationships. Sex, drugs, rock & roll. I saw developers that had all of the same connections as the movie/musicians where they would meet and be friends with all of them because the movie stars/musicians were fans of the games. Everyone in the industry knew this and have known this until the last 5-10 years where magically it’s new information. The fans tried to sleep with the game developers. The game developers tried to sleep with the fans (or coworkers).

Does that excuse it? No. But they were never real corporations similar to other companies and that’s what attracted people to them. They offered an atmosphere that were unlike the regular boring corporate world. However, as they became infinitely profitable with billions now at stake, everything “cool” (and I don’t mean illegal or wrong behavior) about the game industry died and now they’re just regular corporations (more on that later). Now people are trying to look at the game companies through a lens of the last 5 years and apply it to 1980 – 2015 which doesn’t work at all. You can try to fix or clean up the industry now and that’s perfectly OK but you can’t magically undo the last 20 years of how it was before.

Now some people might not like this paragraph or misconstrue what I’m saying but: the theoretical best defense was to never work in that industry, to begin with knowing that is how it was. That of course kills the dream of making games, but joining an industry with these problems opens you up to regular attacks. I saw many times where a single female would be on a team of upwards of 100 people and imagine the shit she had to go through. If you’re a female joining that, your defenses had to be up all the time.  Does that mean women shouldn’t work in the game industry? Of course not. But if you look at the numbers, it’s never 50% even if they go out of the way to hire mainly female employees. We’ll see how things go in the next 5-10 years. Maybe they can clean things up.  Some are saying remote work is a great defense. But even the dudes got sexually harassed as I mentioned. 4+ that I know of.

This article could be much better if I exposed all the stories I saw but I’m not at that point.

The reason you are seeing or saw all this sexual harassment at game studios is because they think they are rockstars. They live rockstar lives of:

  • Alcohol
  • Rampant Non-Perscription Drug Use (one person said “if there was a drug test, everyone would be fired”). Off-site meetings would devolve into pro drug discussions.
  • Strip clubs (was pressured to go there quite a bit)
  • Banging cosplay people, banging fans, banging coworkers, banging everyone
  • Fancy Cars
  • Fancy Houses on the beach
  • Vacations
  • Off-site events in Hawaii, Bahamas
  • Limos
  • Party Buses
  • Best Hotel Suites connected Hotel Suites
  • Executive Assistants
  • Personal Bands

They are living the lives that movies idolize.

The 1990s were game developers and their Ferraris and Lambos.

I CHOSE TO NEVER PARTICIPATE – I had plenty of opportunities to advance my career or participate in the rock & roll nonsense but I actively decided to avoid it all and just go to work and avoid all of this. People saw that as a negative and it hurt my career. As far as reporting it, everyone knew this stuff was going on and no one did anything about it in my opinion. I myself reported a bunch of stuff to a company lawyer and one of the presidents.

Fact that people miss; the Rock Stars are the ones that made the good games. If you cancel them, you get shitty games. haha.  And you’ve certainly seen that in the last 5 years haven’t you?

There’s an old line: Don’t ask who cooks your food. As long as your food / game are great, don’t look into whose creating it.

I worked in career/hiring for 20 years. You know the gamers that are on twitch/FPS spamming hateful stuff with ZERO filter at all? That’s who they often hire. They have no experience working in a corporate environment knowing what is right or wrong or how to behave. There’s ZERO training for that. You’re just expected to know that when you join. But who knows, maybe these kids parents left them alone in their room for 5 years and never taught them. When the internet 1994-1998 was cultured college graduates, the behavior was more civilized.  So these people join a game company and do crazy as shit @ work.

  • This one guy joins. He decides he likes a girl. But the girl liked someone else and they were dating.The first crazy guy found out, then lures the 2nd guy off-site then sucker punches him in the face for “stealing his girl.” when the girl was in no way interested in him in the first place. When questioned, he said that he would DO IT AGAIN. He of course was fired. But this deranged person was hired having no idea how to act in the civilized work world.
  • Another guy joins, runs past me, sits in a seat I was walking to and then starts laughing like “hah hah I stole your seat.” This is on the FIRST DAY.  How old is this guy? He was asked to give a speech to introduce himself where 999/1000 people gave a nice speech about honored to work there, etc. This guy instead talks about how awesome he was and how rich he was with ACTUAL numbers to brag to everyone. “Then why are you working here?”

I’ve got plenty of other examples. There needs to be a better filtering process for weeding these people out.

I can explain the situation and people can imagine I’m defending it, but yet again I’m not. At least now with all the articles on sexual harassment suits and settlements etc, fans/customers/game players/potential game company employees can now at least read about the shit they might experience if they choose to work there. The worst one I saw was a leader (elsewhere) was going around punching people in the nuts, even in the post-2015 world. Completely insane. Another sample story was a producer and an employee were having sex regularly after work in the conference room, then people the next day would go in there and have meetings in there unbeknownst to everyone. Imagine sitting on that couch. Who knows if they cleaned it.

The industry could certainly become better and *I* believe that Christianity could play a big part in making that happen but the industry isn’t full of Christians in my experience. Quite the opposite. What’s lacking is any kind of morals for starters.

So my point is, there were plenty of opportunities for people to know what they were getting into and not be surprised by it.  There’s a big problem with the POST 2000 generation where they don’t give any shit about history but history is VERY IMPORTANT.

HOWEVER, none of this behavior is legal @ a corporation, especially those in California. 

They got away with it for decades but now the internet and legal people are catching up and making the game industry like any other corporation.

The reason they skated for so long is the company HR always did damage control and covered things up. The people didn’t go externally by suing or to the media, or state because they wanted to keep working in the game industry, and doing so would end their careers (just like with Hollywood / Music).