The developers of Aeon Must Die! and the co-founder of Limestone Games say they left the studio, pointing to, among other things, a culture of crunch, late payments and a job “Fly“A large number of accusatory documents have been shared and made available to the public.
Last night the beat’em all Aeon Must Die ! unveiled in a new trailer for Sony’s State of Play. A title signed by Limestone Games destined to land on PC and consoles in 2021. But if the announcement of the title was appreciated by the players, the atmosphere behind the scenes of the game was very different. Moments after the trailer aired, the studio’s Twitter account released a message full of accusations against Limestone’s management.
This trailer was created with abuse, manipulation, theft. Find out the truth about the development of this game here (Dropbox link). The people who worked on all fronts are no longer part of the company holding the intellectual property rights. Some were not even paid for their work. This trailer has an IP conflict. The real IP for the game was stolen from the creators by an act of deception. The publisher’s final reaction to this information is awaited.
Estonian studio Limestone Games is thus under fire of accusations while eight of its employees – including former CCO Aleksei Nehoroshkin, co-founder of the studio – say they left the ship last June. Poor working conditions in the studio and the behavior of the general manager are then questioned, with, in support, a massive batch of documents shared on Dropbox, and spread over several chapters. Among the allegations, those of late payments, the refusal to compensate for overtime, to grant sick leave, or even threats of dismissal.
Intro: Sony’s State of Play takes place on August 6. One of the planned announcements is “Aeon Must Die!” (AMD), a game created by people who, in June 2020, were forced to leave their old Limestone Games studio with its founder / creative director. Their reasons were unbearable working conditions with endless crunch, harassment, abuse, corruption and manipulation. When the team brought in a lawyer to uncover the truth behind all the conflicting information and pressures, it was also discovered that the company and all of the intellectual property had been secretly taken from the founder. Multiple attempts to establish a dialogue and remedy the situation internally have been stopped by management and majority shareholders.
“Regardless of the legal process to follow, the team has no choice but to share this information with the public.“, is it indicated at the end of the introduction. The file, of colossal size, includes many personal exchanges, emails, SMS, letters from”menace“, or “breaches of contracts“. At the center of the affair, the current CEO, Yaroslav Lysenko. The latter is also accused of collaborating with a major investor in order to become the sole member of the studio’s board of directors and to monopolize the studio’s intellectual property on his own.
In published documents, other statements mention attempts by former developers to contact Focus Home Interactive for any support, they claim to no avail. After receiving the numerous documents published, the publisher reportedly said that he was not considering postponing the release of the trailer, for marketing reasons.
At present, the accused persons have not yet spoken on the case.
We tried to contact the game’s publisher, Focus Home Interactive, without success.
Updated by Tiraxa, on Aug 07, 2020 at 6:32:11 PM
Faced with a swelling controversy, the publisher Focus Home Interactive has decided to come out of its reserve through a press release. Posted on Twitter, this message takes care to explain the context: Focus is not directly targeted by these complaints, it is the Limestone studio in question. However, as the publisher, the company is going to have to investigate and make an appropriate decision. A delicate situation that could well have a decisive impact on the future of this title presented for the first time last night …
“Focus Home Interactive has always praised and supported its partner studios and the developers who make up its creative teams. We pride ourselves on treating our employees and third party developers fairly, respectfully and that will not change.
Focus Home Interactive has been informed of serious accusations from certain developers at Limestone who worked on the creation of the video game Aeon Must Die !.
These grievances are directed to Limestone, their direct employer.
As the publisher of this video game, Focus carefully analyzes these accusations, draws the necessary conclusions if they are found to be founded and then takes the appropriate measures.
No further comments will be made until we have a complete and clear overview of this matter. “
video“>The beat’em all Aeon Must Die! is revealed during the State of Play
By Tiraxa, Writing jeuxvideo.com