Four Fired Over Game Studio Racism Allegations

Four of the staffers at the centre of some serious racism allegations at San Francisco developer KIXEYE have been fired, studio boss Will Harbin has announced.

Harbin told Kotaku yesterday that he was taking " substantial corrective action", which he's elaborated on today, revealing that "the manager of the team in question" and "three other employees" have been terminated after they'd found to have "violated company standards".

He goes on to say that these "few bad apples weren't living up to the standards that the rest of us have set for our company", and that he has "taken steps to provide harassment training to the other members of the team, given the poor example set by their manager".

In addition to this and the recent implementation of a "sensitivity training program", Harbin also says that KIXEYE is in the process of securing an "outside, independent investigation of the allegations made by the contractor to ensure we have all the facts and take whatever continued, appropriate action is necessary to prevent this kind of behavior from occurring again."

You can read the complete statement below.

I'd like to elaborate on the statement I made yesterday. The facts: in a blog post, a former contractor who was here this Summer made allegations of racial discrimination against KIXEYE. I first learned of this at the same time most of you did - via twitter yesterday early afternoon.

Immediately after I learned of these allegations, I personally interviewed members of the team to figure out what this was about. While it's clear that not everything in the blog post was accurate, I did discover examples of embarrassing behavior that I find inappropriate for KIXEYE, or any other work environment. As a result, I immediately terminated the manager of the team in question and then three other employees who violated company standards as well. We have also taken steps to provide harassment training to the other members of the team, given the poor example set by their manager. I am doing my best to create a company where our employees love to work, with a culture of openness and tolerance to different points of view, styles, races, gender, orientation, religion and cultures. It turns out that a few bad apples weren't living up to the standards that the rest of us have set for our company.

What are we doing to make sure this never happens again in the future? Well, even before this incident, we hired a VP of HR who has implemented a sensitivity training program for all employees. He's also introduced processes that have strengthened communication channels between management and the employee base. We've also started conducting regular anonymous, company-wide surveys in which we gather and have taken action on feedback, complaints and rumors. Finally, we are in the process of conducting an outside, independent investigation of the allegations made by the contractor to ensure we have all the facts and take whatever continued, appropriate action is necessary to prevent this kind of behavior from occurring again.

Will Harbin [Twitter]