• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

News Scavengers Studio creative director( The Darwin Project and Seasons, a PS5 exclusive ) accused of belittling, screaming at, groping employees

driqe

Member
Dec 2, 2020
976
2,583
445

Current and former employees of Season studio say Simon Darveau's toxic actions were enabled by co-owner Amélie Lamarche​


GamesIndustry.biz has spoken to nine current and former employees of the Montreal-based Scavengers Studio who worked with the company at some point over the past four years, all of whom spoke with us under the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. They described a company largely composed of talented people working on projects they deeply cared about across both Darwin Project and Season. However, they also said that the excitement and creativity surrounding both games was tainted by a toxic work environment fostered by the studio's co-founders: creative director Simon Darveau (formerly founder of Spearhead Games and a designer at Ubisoft) and his romantic partner at the time of the studio's founding, CEO Amélie Lamarche.

"Full Predator Mode"​

Almost every source we spoke to described Scavengers as an environment hostile to women -- a "boys' club" culture that was largely permitted by its co-owners or, in Darveau's case, actively led by. Several said women were frequently degraded by male employees including Darveau, or infantilized and treated as if they did not know what they were talking about even when speaking from a position of expertise about their own work. This was said to have happened in casual conversations, public team meetings, and on the studio's work Slack.

Several also said that beyond being degraded, many women at the studio were victims of sexist remarks and behaviors, both from Darveau and from a handful of other male employees. Multiple women described having numerous inappropriate comments made about their appearance and outfits, with one saying a male employee repeatedly made remarks asking if she was attracted to him or if she would marry him.

One former employee described an incident that occurred during a team meeting on Season, where one group was presenting its idea to have the main character, Abby, be able to play the guitar. Someone remarked in front of the group that this feature "wasn't realistic" because the guitar was too complicated for a woman, and that she should play a ukulele instead. This remark went unchallenged.

One major incident that many we spoke to were aware of occurred in mid-2018, and involved an employee who one day simply stopped showing up to work. Sometime later, an office meeting was called in which it was announced that she wouldn't be returning. Employees who spoke to Lamarche later told the story around the office: Darveau allegedly had an affair with the employee, and Lamarche had found out. No one was able to confirm whether or not the employee had left of her own volition following this incident.

MANY MORE INCIDENTS IN THE ARTICLE

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/artic...-of-belittling-screaming-at-groping-employees
 

EDMIX

Member
Apr 5, 2018
5,213
4,264
565
33
South Florida aka Outer Haven
"Someone remarked in front of the group that this feature "wasn't realistic" because the guitar was too complicated for a woman, and that she should play a ukulele instead. This remark went unchallenged"


WTF? lol

What kind of 1950's shit is this? You couldn't even joke about such a thing working at a Wal Mart let alone a game studio. I have no sympathy for those who get fired over this.
 

Concern

Member
Sep 20, 2020
2,225
6,569
560
Cancelled GIF by MOODMAN
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,861
2,240
970
these are serious allegations wdym lol
Ah, yes. Serious allegations.

Employers occasionally being rude to their employees? Earth shattering.
"Boy's club mentality"? MY GOD, the HORROR.
People being trolled by a joke remark? Imagine the existential dread that followed.

Plus a bunch of standard bullshit office drama like affairs between co-workers etc.
 

driqe

Member
Dec 2, 2020
976
2,583
445
Ah, yes. Serious allegations.

Employers occasionally being rude to their employees? Earth shattering.
"Boy's club mentality"? MY GOD, the HORROR.
People being trolled by a joke remark? Imagine the existential dread that followed.

Plus a bunch of standard bullshit office drama like affairs between co-workers etc.
So these aren't serious allegations?

After he inevitably gets sacked, there is no studio that will hire this guy lol, is that serious enough?
 
Last edited:

iHaunter

Member
Sep 6, 2015
2,492
2,411
550
So these aren't serious allegations?

After he inevitably gets sacked, there is no studio that will hire this guy lol, is that serious enough?
No, this is life outside the parent's basement. This just happens, some of it more often than others.

Anyone who worked in an office for any medium to large size companies experiences this shit. The Director of our Contact Center had a beautiful wife, made amazing money. Had an affair with a young intern and ruined his life. Divorce, fired, etc. I wouldn't call it illegal unless it's sexual harassment.
 

OnionSnake

Banned
Dec 29, 2020
2,380
2,728
535
I wouldn't call it illegal unless it's sexual harassment.
At least in this articles case it sounds like it was, with the company even doing an investigation and determing that Darveau was not allowed to have alcohol at company events because he couldn't stop groping women...
 
  • LOL
Reactions: Devilich and EDMIX

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,861
2,240
970
So these aren't serious allegations?
In this form? They aren't shit if not vague whining.

Also, what the hell should someone infer from some vague bullshit like this?
Several said women were frequently degraded by male employees including Darveau, or infantilized and treated as if they did not know what they were talking about even when speaking from a position of expertise about their own work.
What the hell does it even mean, without any concrete examples?
What if the the dismissive attitude was actually a consequence of someone speaking bullshit and being called out on it? Or it can't happen because it was a woman?


And I hate stuff like this, too:
"Someone remarked in front of the group that this feature "wasn't realistic" because the guitar was too complicated for a woman, and that she should play a ukulele instead. This remark went unchallenged"
Well, WHY it "went unchallenged, to begin with?
I can think two possible scenarios: no one took it seriously to begin with, because it came from the office's joker or someone actually said it with a straight face, which makes me question why not to speak up immediately ("Sorry, but what the hell are you talking about? You can't be serious") instead of crying yourself to sleep over it in hindsight.
 

NahaNago

Member
Aug 29, 2014
3,981
1,352
525
So a company has some issues because of relationship between employees, a boys club, and being drunk and acting inappropriately. Honestly sounds like issues you find in just about everywhere, well maybe not the drinking part.
 

EDMIX

Member
Apr 5, 2018
5,213
4,264
565
33
South Florida aka Outer Haven
Well, WHY it "went unchallenged, to begin with?
I can think two possible scenarios: no one took it seriously to begin with

If they don't take such things seriously, that makes a lot of sense on why this article is happening.

it came from the office's joker or someone actually said it with a straight face

The fact that it might come from someone who does it often as a "joke" is even worse, it supports the idea that the environment supports this behavior or tolerates it.

why not to speak up immediately

Irrelevant. I care more so that it happened at all, not when the person spoke up.


They made this a normal thing, they deserve everything that comes with it. If its my company, your ass is getting fired for even remotely joking about that shit. I don't care if they are the office "joker", they can tell their fucking jokes at home and not sink my company lol So the managers who are supporting this shit, might not actually care about the company compared to others who legit don't want the focus on their company to now be sexual assault or harassment etc

So IF they indeed happened, fuck em. They deserve the backlash. You can't even work at a Wal Mart and make such jokes let alone a software developer. If it was me, I'd keep 99% of that shit to myself as its not my first time working for other people, so why the fuck would I ruin my career at a great job just to sound funny for the lolz?
 

OnionSnake

Banned
Dec 29, 2020
2,380
2,728
535
So IF they indeed happened, fuck em. They deserve the backlash. You can't even work at a Wal Mart and make such jokes let alone a software developer. If it was me, I'd keep 99% of that shit to myself as its not my first time working for other people, so why the fuck would I ruin my career at a great job just to sound funny for the lolz?
no kidding, the people saying "oh this happens all the time" .... yuck, I'm a software developer at a large company and if this happened your ass would be out the door. No time for this crap nor the excuses some make for it.
 

EDMIX

Member
Apr 5, 2018
5,213
4,264
565
33
South Florida aka Outer Haven
no kidding, the people saying "oh this happens all the time" .... yuck, I'm a software developer at a large company and if this happened your ass would be out the door. No time for this crap nor the excuses some make for it.

Agreed. Even if I agree that this happens often, shit people get FIRED OFTEN for it too. Reap what you sow. Should never be an excuse for this type of shit. I worked at a Home Depot thru college and I've seen people fired for less, who make less, who do less....

So if I was ever some software developer, my ass wouldn't even be coughing in a way that might be seen as sexual assault let alone telling offensive jokes or drinking and touching co-workers. I never did any of that shit while working at a HOME DEPOT FOLKS, working minimum wage, I never dared do some shit like any of this. I don't joke with my money.

IF they did do this, they deserve what they get.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: OnionSnake

harmny

Member
Oct 29, 2020
1,147
2,523
385
no kidding, the people saying "oh this happens all the time" .... yuck, I'm a software developer at a large company and if this happened your ass would be out the door. No time for this crap nor the excuses some make for it.

and would you get fired for saying that trans women shouldn't compete in sports against cis women?
 
Last edited:

OnionSnake

Banned
Dec 29, 2020
2,380
2,728
535
then your company is shit and it shouldn't be used as a valid comparison. i'm on topic here. you brought your own company.
You brought up trans women vs cis women in sports... best of luck to you buddy I'm dropping this off topic derail attempt like a rotten potato.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrS and EDMIX

harmny

Member
Oct 29, 2020
1,147
2,523
385
You brought up trans women vs cis women in sports... best of luck to you buddy I'm dropping this off topic derail attempt like a rotten potato.

i'm not derailing. you said "i'm a software developer at a large company and you would get fired for saying things like that". and i'm showing you that you would get fired for saying anything in your company. they would probably fire you if they knew you post in this "alt right nazi" site.
 
Last edited:

EDMIX

Member
Apr 5, 2018
5,213
4,264
565
33
South Florida aka Outer Haven
and would you get fired for saying that trans women shouldn't compete in sports against cis women?

lol probably.

I've seen people fired on the spot in retail for the smallest things, let along joking about trans people. I seen someone at Best Buy get fired in my department after he was scolded about how he treated some customer, he tells the customer "Thanks for Shopping at Best Buy" , but he states it in a really bitchy, sarcastically way and the store owner just walked over to him and told him to leave.

Don't even clockout, he just told that man to leave lol

So this idea that if you are on the side of some fucking person, religiously, politically etc that you can get some pass might exist to some degree sure, but ultimately if you are hurting business, they don't fucking care if you are a family member, you need to be fired, canned etc. Nothing i'm saying will kill Best Buy, it didn't make the news, they won't lose any business from it, but something like this is juicy enough that if true.......yea they are fucked. You are going to see many cut ties not wanting to show they support some sexual assault shit or something and I don't blame them.

So I own a small business, though I don't hire anyone full time, I'd worry about if someone I hired was making a bunch of offensive comments that could link back to my business and hurt me. It doesn't fucking matter if I even agree with their statement.

I don't agree with my business getting hate and targeted either bud.

"then your company is shit and it shouldn't be used as a valid comparison"

I mean....sir that is literally the majority of companies would behave that way though. Go to any fucking company and see how far you get making that statement over and over again. Its beyond the idea of someone agreeing with you or not at that point, you are not fucking with their job, money, reputation, career etc.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: OnionSnake

EDMIX

Member
Apr 5, 2018
5,213
4,264
565
33
South Florida aka Outer Haven
The problem with these cases is that you can’t tell if it’s actually a serious problem or simply a case of no fun allowed. Either way it should be handled internally by their HR.

Thats what makes this so bad too is....well...

"for those on the receiving end, HR was not an option"

"As Scavengers was a smaller studio -- around 30 to 40 people over the last couple of years -- there was no dedicated HR"

Thats when I knew they fucked up. HR is a nice buffer and liaison that keeps things fair and protects a company to some extent (unless HR is the one doing da sexual assault then you have a wild ass case lol) so them not even having that and only having people report directly to some of the fucking people involved in it is what created this mess.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: bitbydeath

Umbral

Member
May 7, 2020
1,565
2,733
390
I know offices where disparaging remarks are made about white people and men regularly with zero consequences. Pardon me if I find it difficult to care.
 

Umbral

Member
May 7, 2020
1,565
2,733
390
Thats what makes this so bad too is....well...

"for those on the receiving end, HR was not an option"

"As Scavengers was a smaller studio -- around 30 to 40 people over the last couple of years -- there was no dedicated HR"

Thats when I knew they fucked up. HR is a nice buffer and liaison that keeps things fair and protects a company to some extent (unless HR is the one doing da sexual assault then you have a wild ass case lol) so them not even having that and only having people report directly to some of the fucking people involved in it is what created this mess.
Problem is that HR is often the infiltration point for the wokesters. It’s dangerous to have HR and to not have HR.
 
Last edited:

EDMIX

Member
Apr 5, 2018
5,213
4,264
565
33
South Florida aka Outer Haven
I know offices where disparaging remarks are made about white people and men regularly with zero consequences. Pardon me if I find it difficult to care.

I mean....it shouldn't be happening to you either man.

Record it, report it, snitch, sell it to a reporter lol


NO deserves to work in such an environment

Edit. and "Problem is that HR is often the infiltration point for the wokesters. It’s dangerous to have HR and to not have HR." Also good point.

I feel if it was me, I want a system in place to report shit that simply gets CC'ed to a 3rd party so legally I'm protected and everyone is understood on what is allowed and what is not.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: OnionSnake
Jan 20, 2020
369
1,038
570
I didn't really care for the work of this studio that much and Season didn't really interest me, but it does suck to hear that it's also a shitty place to work in. Here's hoping they fire the management and figure out how to make a better workplace environment. A healthier workplace means a better team which translates to better games for us.
 

Umbral

Member
May 7, 2020
1,565
2,733
390
I mean....it shouldn't be happening to you either man.

Record it, report it, snitch, sell it to a reporter lol


NO deserves to work in such an environment

Edit. and "Problem is that HR is often the infiltration point for the wokesters. It’s dangerous to have HR and to not have HR." Also good point.

I feel if it was me, I want a system in place to report shit that simply gets CC'ed to a 3rd party so legally I'm protected and everyone is understood on what is allowed and what is not.
The reason people don’t report it is that HR is infested with wokesters, so if they go to HR they get a target painted on them as “problematic” because they don’t understand their privilege and they’re not on board with the program. Retaliation or roadblocking is a serious concern but there’s nothing to be done about it because there’s nobody to listen.

Edit: Actual verbatim remark by someone viewing the company’s diversity hiring report “They need to just stop hiring white people.” Nobody said anything about it.
 
Last edited:
  • LOL
Reactions: EDMIX

EDMIX

Member
Apr 5, 2018
5,213
4,264
565
33
South Florida aka Outer Haven
The reason people don’t report it is that HR is infested with wokesters, so if they go to HR they get a target painted on them as “problematic” because they don’t understand their privilege and they’re not on board with the program. Retaliation or roadblocking is a serious concern but there’s nothing to be done about it because there’s nobody to listen.

Edit: Actual verbatim remark by someone viewing the company’s diversity hiring report “They need to just stop hiring white people.” Nobody said anything about it.

All the reason to secretly record them and save the emails for that reporter. I mean, no one saying anything about a blatant racist remark? I've never worked at any place in retail where someone can just scream that out in a room of other employees and not get fired.

That is a toxic work place begging for that lawsuit.

Be the one to get that settlement.

The second someone makes fun of me and they can be sued, I'll fuck around and show up in court like this.

 
Oct 26, 2018
18,108
25,031
795
Never ever believe corporate accusations until proven in court.

Sexual assault was accused at my work years ago by some shitty employee on the firing line. She claimed just when she about to get fired.

It dragged on for months where multiple people had to get involved because the accuser named other people so they had to get interviewed.

It was all BS.

She still got fired and the accused was 100% innocent and stayed with the company.

Assholes on the firing line will do anything to prevent getting fired, hoping they get rid of them with a package.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DarkArterialGore

PSlayer

Member
Mar 17, 2017
954
1,010
475
The problem with these cases is that you can’t tell if it’s actually a serious problem or simply a case of no fun allowed. Either way it should be handled internally by their HR.
I would usually agree with you,and i do as far as AAA studios go, but i've worked in a company with 30-40 employees recently and there is no HR. It was basically a sweatshop masqueraded as one of those hip "horizontal" weWork spaces. When shit goes down there is nothing to do besides send your resume to some place else and pray to be picked. If you complain you're not a "team player" or "hard to work with".


Thank god i got a new job that pays me more than triple the salary.
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2018
18,108
25,031
795
I would usually agree with you,and i do as far as AAA studios go, but i've worked in a company with 30-40 employees recently and there is no HR. It was basically a sweatshop masqueraded as one of those hip "horizontal" weWork spaces. When shit goes down there is nothing to do besides send your resume to some place else and pray to be picked. If you complain you're not a "team player" or "hard to work with".


Thank god i got a new job that pays me more than triple the salary.
Totally.

Unless someone works for a company of decent size, there probably isn't an HR dept. The HR dept is the owner. And whatever he feels like doing or hiring is his call. And th entire company's culture is what he molds it to be.

On the other hand, a bank that has been around for 100 years has an entire division of HR people, 95% of employees have never met the CEO, and him being in a fancy office 1000 miles away has zero bearing on the local office's corporate culture.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX

oagboghi2

Member
Apr 15, 2018
11,798
19,928
705
Ah, yes. Serious allegations.

Employers occasionally being rude to their employees? Earth shattering.
"Boy's club mentality"? MY GOD, the HORROR.
People being trolled by a joke remark? Imagine the existential dread that followed.

Plus a bunch of standard bullshit office drama like affairs between co-workers etc.
Really, you're embarassing yourself

The studio's problems with treatment of women came to a head during a company party in January of 2019. Up to that point, sources said, Scavengers parties typically included alcohol, and Darveau especially would often become drunk and loud. At this one, he was especially drunk, and multiple sources claim they saw him inappropriately touch and grab multiple female employees. One employee who was there described Darveau as "in full predator mode."

One of the women Darveau is said to have harassed quit the following Monday; at least one other left the studio not long after.

This incident was enough that studio leadership did take action. An external investigator was brought in, but those who were there at the time said that the results of the investigation were never fully made clear to employees. There was one new policy: Scavengers would be greatly cutting back on alcohol available at work events, and Darveau would not be drinking at work functions at all. One employee recalls the incident very much being pinned on the role of alcohol, with Darveau excusing his behavior on his drunkenness.
This is the shit you want to defend?


The dude was investigated by a third party and they had to enact a policy against him. His ass is lucky he isn't in a right to work state, or he would be filing unemployment right now
 
Last edited:

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,861
2,240
970
Really, you're embarassing yourself
Oh, shut up.
Jesus Christ, this "Holier than you" attitude by the same people who goes around whining "WHY CAN'T PEOPLE JUST NOT BE ASSHOLES???" is the most insufferable shit.

This is the shit you want to defend?
I wasn't "defending" anything or anyone.
I have absolutely no problem believing that this Darveau guy may be a complete douchebag, even if just half of what's been said about it was true.

I simply find ridiculous the attempt to frame the story as a big deal. It's for the most part ordinary office drama.
A shitty egomaniac boss with a drinking problem, co-workers not getting along particularly well, a secret affair that leads to someone leaving.
Someone, call the police.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: manzo

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,861
2,240
970
I dont think the thread title really needed to mention he's developing a PS5 exclusive. I dont think his actions are console war related lol.
Not to mention it's not an exclusive (and in fact the game has a Steam page as well):
 
Last edited:

Hosam6xavi

Member
Jun 16, 2019
529
1,958
440
Saudi Arabia
Ah, yes. Serious allegations.

Employers occasionally being rude to their employees? Earth shattering.
"Boy's club mentality"? MY GOD, the HORROR.
People being trolled by a joke remark? Imagine the existential dread that followed.

Plus a bunch of standard bullshit office drama like affairs between co-workers etc.
Yeah it's normal and you will find this in every company that exist on planet earth

Journalists don't know what is it like to working on a real job

Those people are so fucking soft
 

Stuart360

Member
Sep 9, 2018
8,501
19,997
675
I used to work in a team of ladies, when i was only in my early 20's. The stuff i used to say, the stuff i used to do, all in the name of having a laugh and building relationships. Well i would probably be sacked doing the same today and brought up on suxual conduct charges.
Fuck this ridiculous world.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kenysu and GymWolf

Atrus

Gold Member
Jul 16, 2007
4,607
795
1,345
"One major incident that many we spoke to were aware of occurred in mid-2018, and involved an employee who one day simply stopped showing up to work. Sometime later, an office meeting was called in which it was announced that she wouldn't be returning. Employees who spoke to Lamarche later told the story around the office: Darveau allegedly had an affair with the employee, and Lamarche had found out. No one was able to confirm whether or not the employee had left of her own volition following this incident."

I'd point out that although this is described as a "major incident" it is entirely gossip. There is also a later section involving groping of multiple women by multiple witnesses.

Groping is a crime under Canadian law and so it is on victims and witnesses to report it to police. Witnesses do not require permission to report witnessing a crime to police. HR can be notified but they are not capable of handling crimes of a criminal nature. HR exists to benefit management and I've seen them bend backwards to protect asshat managers from all sorts of reprecussions.

Being a shitty boss by yelling (depending on what is specifically being said) and telling you work sucks without giving guidelines isn't a crime. There are lots of power-tripping asshats (like our Governor General) around with little in the way of labour laws to counter. Leave shitholes asap and leave a bad anonymous review however you can.

I suppose this article is pretty much a bad review of the company but the gossip portions bring the quality of the accusations down and that impacts the quality of other statements.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: John Day