The International Game Developers Association has been an outspoken critic of the cultures at companies like Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard that has led to so many lawsuits, departures and firings over the last few years. Yet a report today by GI.Biz says that the group has failed to act on its own internal problems.
The story alleges that “despite the IGDA’s pledge to support victims, it mishandled multiple formal complaints against its own Women in Games Special Interest Group chair, and failed to follow its own policies on how to properly handle such complaints on more than one occasion.”
Specifically, this involves the IGDA Women in Games Special Interest Group chair Jennifer Scheurle, who in 2021 resigned from her position after a number of allegations against her were made public.
It’s reported that complaints about Scheurle’s conduct mention a “history of deception, bullying, defamation and abuse,” and were first made to the IGDA in 2017. However, these were “dismissed by the organisation, which said that there wasn’t enough evidence,” despite claims that evidence was presented, including screenshots and testimonies.
Further, it’s alleged that the Scheurle case was “not an isolated event”, and that other cases have been presented to the group that “met a dead end, were never contacted for more details, and never got a ruling or decision from the organisation.”
In response, the IGDA said in a statement, “We apologise for not providing proper support and communication to everyone with serious concerns,” and that “over the last four months, we worked with our Ethics Review Committee, formed from IGDA volunteer leadership, board members, and staff members to update our processes to provide better support for investigations, communications, and standards. We have also updated our ‘IGDA Policy for Responding to Harassment Complaints’ to a more comprehensive ‘IGDA Ethics Violation & Harassment Investigation Process.”
You can read GI.biz’s full report here.