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Founder of indie development team, Serellan and design director on Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Christian Allen, released a tweet stating that his company was recently rejected for insurance due to the “violent nature of the games” they are producing. The full email Allen received was displayed in the tweet and is re-posted below:

“I am responding to your email dated November 12th and to your voicemail message this morning. We have made some phone calls and, unfortunately we do not have a market that will offer a premium proposal for your operations. This is due to the violent nature of the games you are producing.”

As the Serellan is still fairly new, they have to date only released one title; a tactical first person shooter called Takedown: Red Sabre. While due to the nature of the genre the game does contain violence, it is no more violent than your average FPS and contains little gore.

The company was insured with premium tech insurance, insuring them against lawsuits if someone is unhappy with their product, through the Hanover Group until spring of this year when they took a brief hiatus. When they asked their broker to help them with obtaining a new insurance plan, they reported that companies were not interested in offering even basic cover due to the notably minimal violence depicted.

Fortunately, after contacting a different broker Serellan was able to secure insurance through a new company, though this came at a higher cost than their old policy, and the delays cost the team time and money as well as putting some development work on hold.

The news that insurance companies are refusing to insure development teams based on the content of their games comes at a time when Target and Kmart Australia, as well as the Warehouse Group in New Zealand removed the popular title Grand Theft Auto V from their shelves due to the violence against women the game portrays. The Women’s Front in Norway has initiated a similar proposal to get the game removed from stores, though so far none have agreed.

I have reached out to the Hanover Group for comment as to the motivations for this refusal, but as of publishing they are yet to respond.

Update: Christian Allen has been updated on the situation. The companies refused to cover him because of the game he is currently working on, referring to TakeDown.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • DoombotBL

    This is very interesting considering on the heels of all this crazy stuff happening to GTA

  • Fatherless

    If this doesn’t get AAA to disown I Need A Scam Easy One I don’t know what will

  • Reptile

    “We will not sell things to you because your product have violence” is the same as “We will not sell things to you because you’re black/white/man/woman/islamic/catholic/etc”.

    Seriously, what is going on with everybody? Suddenly no one wants to make money

  • Some Guy

    The people doing this have no need for money. They are set for life. Nothing to do now but push their ideology, and tell others how to live.

  • dodoking

    comment by Zeraelon reddit

    /u/sugerfreek/ , if you’re reading this and want feedback:

    While I like the article, I think it’s slightly innacurate/misleading to call it an insurance company rejecting a customer.

    It’s an insurance broker which says none of the current contacts/contracts they have can offer cover.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a good sign especially if they cite violence in games, but this is not a company directly refusing coverage for a political/etc reason.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2ogrcw/insurance_company_rejects_development_team/cmmyskn

  • AtxYankee02

    Normally I like Georgina’s stuff.

    This one though, maybe that it’s insurance.

    What is “premium tech insurance”? Cause it’s not an insurance term, it’s not a policy type. Was it a product liability policy that they were trying to get? Were they unable to get the broker to place coverage with the same carrier that they had with the Hanover Group?

    I guess there just isn’t enough information in the article for me to go “Oh man yeah that’s a problem.”

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    FYI she reads KiA, and regularly asks for feedback on articles there.

  • TeLin特林

    “Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a good sign especially if they cite violence in games, but this is not a company directly refusing coverage for a political/etc reason.”

    What? I’m confused…did the companies cite violence in games as an issue to taking them on as a client(through a broker is still the same to me…) or not?

    If they did…it sounds like they are rejecting customers…because of the violent nature of their games.

    I’m a bit out of it today, so I may be misreading your comment.

  • Miglet32

    And this is where real privilege exists.

  • SnugRailgun

    I’d like to know who denied them.