Chris Avellone, a game designer who came to prominence in the ’90s following his work on Fallout 2, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women, according to Gamasutra. Avellone has worked as a freelance writer after leaving developer Obsidian Entertainment in 2015, 12 years after he co-founded the studio with fellow ex-Black Isle Studio employees. Multiple studios he has recently worked with have now spoken out about his involvement with their projects.
Among the studios now addressing his work status is Paradox Interactive, which stated that none of Avellone’s contributions to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 will be included in the game, although it appears this does not stem from the allegations. According to a Paradox representative, Avellone’s role in Vampire Bloodlines 2 was “brief” and whatever content he made for the game would not be used in any capacity. “Chris Avellone briefly worked with the Bloodlines 2 writing team early in the development of the game,” Paradox said. “Through an iterative creative process, however, none of his contributions remain in the game that Hardsuit Labs is continuing to develop.” Paradox didn’t specifically comment on the allegations made against Avellone.
Dying Light 2 developer Techland, in a statement on Twitter, said it has stopped working with Avellone amid the allegations. “We treat matters of sexual harassment and disrespect with [the] utmost care, and have no tolerance for such behaviors–it applies to both our employees as well as external consultants, Chris among them,” Techland said. “This is why, together with Chris Avellone, we’ve decided to end our cooperation.” Avellone had served as a writer on Techland’s upcoming zombie-parkour survival game.
Another developer he was writing for, Gato Studio, has cut ties with him, and his work on it will be re-evaluated.
“Chris Avellone is no longer associated with Gato Salvaje Studio or the Waylanders project,” Gato Studio said in a Twitter statement. “Chris was brought on as a design contractor on The Waylanders. As of last week, Chris’s contract is complete and the content provided will be assessed as development progress.”
According to Gato Studio writer Emily Grace Buck, Chris is “no longer on the project,” with Buck revealing she was the lead writer all along. “Waylanders has very little writing by him as it stands, and I’ll be taking a look at his scenes,” Buck said. “No one on the team knew anything about this. We’re handling it, and I’m open to feedback.”
The allegations, in which multiple women said he used his influence to coerce nonconsensual relations with women looking to break into the games industry, came to light over the weekend on social media. Avellone has not issued a public statement on the matter, though he has responded to certain tweets.
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