An audit into Season developer Scavenger Studio recently concluded, finding no evidence of systemic sexual or psychological harassment, according to a public statement (opens in new tab) released on the Scavenger website.
Following allegations of a toxic work environment (opens in new tab) perpetuated by Creative Director Simon Darveau, including groping and verbal harassment, CEO Amélie Lamarche temporarily stepped down and Darveau was suspended indefinitely. Scavenger Studio then initiated a workplace assessment, which has been carried out by an independent audit firm. While the audit did not find evidence of the allegations after working with 85% of Scavenger's workforce, it found "there are workplace behaviours that still require improvement" and to that end developed a plan aimed at bettering the organisational culture, HR and communication of goals.
As per the plan, Scavengers wants to make the studio's and employee's performance and its assessment of both more transparent, work on a "clear path and development plan for employees", and clarify each employee's roles and responsibilities as well as Scavenger's overall mission, vision and values.
The statement also makes it clear that the audit itself and the plans around it should've been communicated more clearly to employees and the media. "The[...] report revealed that the absence of clear communication from management as to the steps taken created the perception that nothing was done or that the allegations were not taken seriously. This was not the case. However, the lack of communication in regards to management’s actions following the allegations is regrettable," it says.
"The details of what happened and the disciplinary actions taken were not communicated to the team until recently when allegations were made in the media. It should have been done so at the time of the events, to reinforce the company’s values by sharing clearly with everyone the consequences of this type of behaviour. Instead, the lack of transparency created an atmosphere of uncertainty. This was not a small mistake. The confusion and emotional turmoil it caused is something we deeply regret."
Lamarche has since been reinstated as CEO and Scavengers' Board of Directors approved Davreau's "conditional reinstatement". He has since taken on what's described as a "smaller, non-managerial role in research and development".