In a closely-reported exposé sourced to numerous current and former employees, three stars of the indie game development scene—Ken Wong, Steve Gaynor and Robin Hunicke—are accused of harassing, humiliating and manipulating their colleagues [youtube, transcript]. Moreover, a thread between the three is unraveled in People Make Games's 40-minute report: Annapurna Interactive, the lauded indie publisher. It appears its only real relationship is with the game "auteurs" it finances—and to complain to it is to challenge them.
What began as an investigation into the collapse of a single indie studio became something much bigger, as more and more developers came forwards to share their stories.
Two incredible moments among many:
• When Ken Wong's colleagues put everything on the line in an all-hands meeting with Annapurna Interactive to try and get him dealt with, Annapurna allegedly contacted Wong to suggest he start a new studio in another city with graduates fresh out of college. (Wong denies this)
• Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi allegedly built a barricade out of office furniture to prevent Robin Hunicke from bothering him and his team.