Two weeks after workplace abuse allegations, Funomena may close its doors

(Image credit: Funomena)

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."

Original story:

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."

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:

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."

I've reached out to Funomena for more information and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.