Rumor: Aeon Must Die devs quit studio ahead of State of Play trailer

The world premiere trailer for Aeon Must Die debuted at today’s PlayStation State of Play. However, the game’s future is apparently in peril. A person, presumably involved in the game’s production, has come forward with the accusation that many involved with the game have resigned from developer Limestone Games. Allegations against Limestone Games include crunch, harassment, abuse, corruption, manipulation, and IP theft.

The allegations against Limestone Games were presented alongside an original, pre-labeled version of the Aeon Must Die trailer and a Dropbox containing detailed accusations. It’s claimed this Dropbox contains what was sent to publisher Focus Home Interactive, minus documents considered to be personally identifying or sensitive.

According to the accusations, the team behind Aeon Must Die attempted to take concerns to Focus Home Interactive in hopes the publisher would step in and mediate. In June, the creative team resigned, and the publisher remained largely silent. According to the documents provided, Limestone Games CEO Yaroslav Lyssenko harassed the members as the date of their departure from the company came closer and eventually unlawfully fired them.

The documents explain that during the first week of August, Focus Home Interactive Head of Legal finally had a short call with the team. The accuser states that the Head of Legal was ignorant of any documentation or complaints sent to them, even after numerous reminders throughout the preceding months. The Aeon Must Die team was encouraged to cooperate and that the State of Play trailer would be, “an amazing push for the game.”

Other allegations are listed in the Dropbox link from individual employees. These include sexism, improper handling of COVID-19 isolation, and unpaid work. The most diabolical of these is that the CEO manipulated the founder and CCO into signing documents giving him ownership of the Aeon Must Die IP and making him sole representative of Limestone Games. It’s alleged that the CCO continued working on the game for years under the assumption he was still in control of the company and IP when he had no more rights than a new hire employee.

More info is available in the Dropbox, and the case against Lyssenko is compelling. No third party has authenticated the documentation, but it lines up at first glance. It would take quite a while to produce a fabrication of this magnitude. However, neither Limestone Games nor Focus Home Interactive have made a statement yet. So, for now, we’ll have to take these accusations skeptically.