Update: Tweets from Funomena indicate that the studio is facing possible closure, but could remain open if fundraising efforts that began earlier this month are successful.
"Funomena was in the process of closing an investment round just before GDC, & we are still actively working to do so. Last week we let everyone know that if we do not successfully finish the fundraise, we will be forced to close the studio," the studio tweeted.
"We love game development, we love making games and we love bringing people into the community. It is our sincere hope that we can continue to do so, together."
We love game development, we love making games and we love bringing people into the community. It is our sincere hope that we can continue to do so, together.March 29, 2022
Less than two weeks after it was named in an investigation into possible workplace abuses at acclaimed indie studios, Wattam developer Funomena is reportedly closing its doors.
News of the closure was revealed by Chris Bratt of People Make Games, the author of the report alleging mismanagement, emotional manipulation, and "oppressive" workplace cultures at Funomena, Mountains, and Fullbright.
"I'm absolutely gutted to report that Funomena is set to be closed by the end of this month, with all contractors already having been laid off as of last Wednesday," Bratt tweeted. "This announcement has caught many employees by surprise, who now find themselves looking for other work, with their last paycheck coming this Friday."
This announcement has caught many employees by surprise, who now find themselves looking for other work, with their last paycheck coming this Friday.If you're in a position to hire, there are plenty of people who could use your help right now.March 29, 2022
The People Make Games report included interviews with former employees of Funomena who alleged that founder Robin Hunicke was emotionally abusive toward employees and regularly used personal information about them "in a way that was either humiliating or entirely unprofessional." The report prompted at least one former colleague to share similar experiences with Hunicke on social media:
She was emotionally manipulative, spread rumors, tried to silence those that spoke against her, and labeled me as a 'creep' and a 'bully' and a 'misogynist.' She neglected her teaching and her students, all while using the emotional distress and personal pain of others as excusesMarch 18, 2022
Funomena hasn't confirmed or commented publicly on the reported closure at this point, but Hunicke acknowledged the People Make Games report last week, tweeting that "leadership is a journey, and often a difficult one."
"It saddens me to know people are hurting from mistakes I’ve made," Hunicke wrote. "I am truly sorry. Right now I’m taking time to talk to people, focus on the feedback everyone is sharing, and figure out next steps."
Leadership is a journey, and often a difficult one.It saddens me to know people are hurting from mistakes I’ve made. I am truly sorry. Right now I’m taking time to talk to people, focus on the feedback everyone is sharing, and figure out next steps.March 22, 2022
I've reached out to Funomena for more information and will update if I receive a reply.