Aeon Must Die developer accused of crunch and IP theft

Showcased during the August State of Play, former employees recount mistreatment from developer Limestone Games.

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The August State of Play was light on major announcements, but focused on third-party titles, many of which are coming to the PS4. One of the games announced was Aeon Must Die, a 2D brawler set to launch in 2021. However, not long after the game’s reveal, several people who claim to be developers on the title came forward with a multitude of allegations against their former employer, Limestone Games. These allegations include crunch, abuse, and IP theft.

The developers claim that they experienced “endless crunch” during their time at Limestone, along with other forms of abuse and harassment. This toxic environment is what led 8 employees to leave the company back in June. 

To make matters worse, the group claims that Limestone stole the concept of Aeon Must Die from former employers, using shady tactics to finesse the rights to the IP from them. The allegations go on to state that some of the people who worked on the game are yet to be paid. 

Crunch has become an unsettlingly common term around the gaming industry. In recent years, we’ve seen companies like Rockstar and Epic Games exposed for overworking employees. In regards to harassment, industry giant Ubisoft was hit with several allegations this year. Limestone Games is yet to make an official comment on the accusations. 

Focus Home Interactive, the publisher of Aeon Must Die released a statement on the allegations. In the statement, they state that they are “carefully looking into these allegations and will draw necessary conclusions if they are proved to be well-founded.

It’s yet to be seen how the allegations against Limestone Games will impact the release of Aeon Must Die, which was set to launch on PlayStation next year. If more information becomes available, we’ll be sure to update this story.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 7, 2020 8:15 AM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Aeon Must Die developer accused of crunch and IP theft

    • reply
      August 7, 2020 5:50 PM

      I mean crunch seems to be more common than not, why is that being lumped in with an actual illegal offense?

      Just curious

      • reply
        August 7, 2020 5:53 PM

        They were putting nuts into brownies.

        • reply
          August 7, 2020 5:53 PM

          I like a few on top, not sure about inside

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        reply
        August 7, 2020 5:56 PM

        Maybe if crunch allegations start generating negative press, things could actually change?

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          August 7, 2020 7:25 PM

          I don't think you're ever going to get rid of the crunch that happens at certain milestones, it's just a part of being able to hit dates and ship something.

          But, yeah, the devs should be paid for it, and it should be a pretty rare thing.

      • reply
        August 7, 2020 7:13 PM

        I believe from the Twitter post, it's more about crunch abuse and not being paid for it.

        https://twitter.com/calibrono/status/1291474562752950273

    • reply
      August 7, 2020 9:29 PM

      Is crunch still a thing during lockdown? I could see it going both ways with people working from home.

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