Chris Avellone Removed From Games Over Assault Allegations

Gaming article by Joseph Allen on Friday, June 26, 2020 - 13:01
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Dying Light 2, The Waylanders, And More

Game designer and writer Chris Avellone has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. Since those accusations came to light, several game studios have stepped forward to speak about his involvement with their projects and to distance themselves from him.

Three major studios that have ended their association with Avellone - either due directly to the allegations or owing to other matters - are Techland, Paradox Interactive, and Gato Studio. Avellone had been working with all three studios in varying design capacities. In a statement issued over TwitterDying Light 2 developer Techland said they had "decided to end [their] co-operation" with Avellone. Also on Twitter, Gato Studio said that Avellone was "no longer associated" with the studio or its upcoming RPG The Waylanders. Paradox Interactive, meanwhile, issued a statement (thanks, GameSpot) that said none of Avellone's contributions to the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 will be used in the finished product.

News of the allegations against Avellone was first broken by Gamasutra. A number of prominent women within the gaming industry accused Avellone over Twitter of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment. Among the accusers are casting director Karissa Barrows, who tweeted that Avellone would regularly "[prey] on young women", and Valorant PR lead Jacqui Collins, who accused Avellone of extremely inappropriate and sexually harassing text messages. There are a number of other accounts on social media of Avellone's misdeeds, too.

In addition to the above projects, Avellone was previously working on the Nightdive Studios System Shock remake. That studio hasn't announced anything re: its involvement with Avellone yet. He's also working with Owlcat Games on the upcoming CRPG Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous and with Gamera Interactive on Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms.

We reached out to Chris Avellone, as well as Nightdive Studios, Owlcat Games, and All In Games, publisher of Alaloth. Nightdive business development director Larry Kuperman told us that he hoped the gaming industry as a whole "would condemn all forms of harassment" and that Nightdive would join in on that. He also said Avellone had "not been part of the System Shock team since 2017". Owlcat Games' official statement says the company does not condone sexual misconduct in any form, but that the studio does not "uphold taking rushed actions based on allegations" and that it will "continue monitoring the situation closely to make an informed decision".

Update: We have updated this article to correctly identify that Chris Avellone is not currently working on System Shock Remake, and instead stated that he had previously.

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Joseph Allen

Staff Writer

Dark Souls changed my life, and I'm here to spread the good news. I like pretty much all sorts of games, but I judge everything by its proximity to our Lord and saviour, Dark Souls.