Techland has become one of the latest to speak out on the ongoing conversation of sexual harassment and toxic workplace abuse coming to light in the gaming industry. After several women have come forth with allegations against Chris Avellone, Techland has announced that it will be cutting ties with Avellone and ceasing cooperation with the writer and game designer on Dying Light 2.
Techland announced their decision to part ways with Chris Avellone via the company’s Twitter on June 23, 2020.
“We treat matters of sexual harassment and disrespect with utmost care, and have no tolerance for such behaviors,” Techland wrote. “It applies to both our employees as well as external consultants, Chris Avellone among them. This is why, together with Chris Avellone, we’ve decided to end our cooperation.”
Dying Light 2 was previously delayed from a Spring 2020 release and there is no further announcement on a revised release date at this time, though Techland promises it will stay on track at this time for revised plans made back at the delay.
Here's the statement regarding our cooperation with Chris Avellone: pic.twitter.com/ozLXZdVPZw— Techland (@TechlandGames) June 22, 2020
For Chris Avellone’s part, several allegations have surfaces directed towards him, accusing the game design of predatory and abusive behavior, often centered around overconsumption of alcohol. One account from a Karissa (who has chosen not to share a full name for safety reasons in correspondence such as with that of Kotaku) described vividly both experiencing and witnessing Avellone allegedly get partners drunk for the purpose of sexual encounters. Kotaku would go on to report several other unnamed who had come forth describing various uncomfortable and sexually aggressive encounters with Avellone.
Before Techland’s decision, Chris Avellone was also lightly involved with indie RPG The Waylanders in partnership with developer Gato Salvaje. Narrative Designer Emily Grace Buck announced that Avellone was dismissed from the project and she would be taking over the few parts he worked on.
Techland and Gato Salvaje’s cut ties with Avellone follows a wealth of people coming forward recently with stories of sexual harassment and abuse and toxic workplaces in the gaming industry. Following the step down of a CEO at OPG, co-founder at Cards Against Humanity, and the full folding of Mixer amid highly racial toxicity, the clean-up of predatory practices in the gaming industry is feeling more and more like a full sweep.