- Related Games:
- Cultist Simulator
Yet another indie developer is facing accusations of misconduct. Narrative Designer Meg Jayanth accused Cultist Simulator and Fallen London series creator Alexis Kennedy of predatory behavior. Not only that, but Jayanth also claimed that Kennedy’s abusive behavior was well known within the industry.
Jayanth, who served as a writer for games such as Sable, 80 Days, and Horizon: Zero Dawn, made the accusations on a long thread on Twitter. As part of the thread, she claimed that while Kennedy’s behavior was an open secret within the industry, he had retaliated against those who tried to speak out in the past while also threatening others into keeping quiet.
“I am speaking out now because I am finally in a position where I can do so and also protect others,” stated Jayanth in one of the follow-up tweets. “I am not going to provide names or details publicly because those are not my stories to share, but I believe and trust the multitude – and it is a multitude – of accusers.” While she hasn’t named any of the other victims, Jayanth did confirm that she was one of them.
The story that Jayanth painted should sound familiar to anyone familiar with how these tend to go. She stated that Kennedy had a pattern of “befriending” young women who were coming into the video game industry, before eventually “crossing professional boundaries” with these women. “I know this now because he did this to me, when I approached him as a young woman looking for career advice + work,” explained Jayanth.
Jayanth went on to mention how it was only after she started speaking out against Kennedy that she learned about other people’s experiences with him. “More stories than I imagined. Each heart-breaking,” she explained. “I know there are more out there I don’t know about. This is how abusers operate.”
She then went on to state that she could not “in good conscience allow Alexis Kennedy to claim that the allegations against him are some kind of channer attack on ‘progressive devs.'” She also explained that what has come out was only “a fraction of the truth” of Kennedy’s actions.
“I have felt enormous shame for not seeing AK’s abuses towards others sooner,” Jayanth continued. “I felt humiliated for percieving [sic] an older man’s interest as professional when – in hindsight – it wasn’t. How embarrassingly naive! But the shame and humiliation belong to him, not to me.”
Jayanth ended her thread by saying that she would be supporting anyone looking to come out about Kennedy’s abuses. She said that anyone with a story to share was welcome to talk to her, and that she would not be publicly sharing anyone’s story without permission. She also stated that she would also support anyone who felt that they wouldn’t be able to share their stories.
For his part, Kennedy responded to the accusations, denying all of them. “I have had a small number of fully consensual relationships with other people in the industry,” tweeted Kennedy. “Everything else here is a malicious misrepresentation.” Furthermore, he mentioned that he would be seeking legal advice and would be making a police complaint against what he called “a campaign of harassment.”
The accusations against Kennedy are just the latest in a series that has rocked the industry as of late. Recently, Night in the Woods creator Alec Holowka was accused of abuse by Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn. Following that, Luc Shelton from Splash Damage was also accused of assault and gaslighting by Adelaide Gardner. Perhaps the most serious accusation however comes from indie developer Nathalie Lawhead, who accused composer Jeremy Soule, known for his work on The Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars, of having raped her.
An anon account has been naming abusers in the games industry. Alexis Kennedy is one of them. I can't speak to the motives of the anon, but Alexis is a well-known predator in the games industry. I have been warning people about him for years.
— Meghna Jayanth (@betterthemask) August 28, 2019