Kotaku published a report that included the testimonies of 12 employees and former employees of Undead LabsMicrosoft studio is working on it state of decay 3that talks about cases Sexism, discrimination and mismanagement by management, with a “crisis period” beginning in 2018 following the acquisition and arrival of Philip Holt.
Nine of the twelve interviewees from Kotaku, who remain anonymous for obvious reasons, say Undead Labs’ reputation as an all-encompassing workplace is exaggerated, but that women “have consistently come up. Ignore him, reject him, interrupt him and blame him“While the company’s leadership has shown itself to Microsoft as an excellent example of DEI (an acronym for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion). Only in the past few months does the situation seem to have improved.
“The culture the studio had until recently was not the most welcoming to anyone other than the straight white,” said one of the current developers at Undead Labs. “He’s been getting better over the past six months or so. But the studio has hired a lot of different talent that they haven’t sufficiently supported. [in passato]”.
According to the report, the studio’s internal problems began after the acquisition of Microsoft in 2018, specifically after that Philip Holt He took over by replacing Jeff Strain, founder of Undead Labs. Holt accused nepotism From many employees and to put their personal interests ahead of the interests of the company, for example hiring their friends to run subordinate offices and not to support women in the workplace. In particular, one interviewee stated that a model has been created in which “women are uprooted and men are protected and assisted”.
He also blames Holt for appointing Anne Schlosser to the human resources department, accused of siding with controversial individuals and failing to take action against an employee “blatantly gender-biased”.
Philip Holt is also charged Mismanagement of the project In the studio, where some of the interviewees talked about how he pressured the team to show Decay 3 despite still being in a very immature state, which explains why we’ve only seen a short trailer so far. One employee says jobs under Holt have turned into “a kind of checklist with no desire for a fun game”.
Matt Botty, Head of Xbox Studios, commented on Kotaku’s report saying:
“Every Xbox studio gets the resources and guidance they need to grow in both capabilities and culture. The support aspect varies by studio, but each has a direct connection to Microsoft HR beyond what they have on their team and the ability to work with other studios and partner teams to benefit from their expertise Additionally, all Microsoft employees, including our study teams, are required to regularly complete our Standards of Business Conduct training covering topics such as harassment, codes of conduct, etc. More in the past few years, Undead Labs has seen a number of positive changes and we Confident of the direction the team is taking in the case of Decay 3, one of the most ambitious open world games in development.”
Positive changes in Undead Labs include:Brand new management teamMany employees were hired in 2021 with 42% represented by women or non-binary people and 29% by racial or ethnic minorities. According to a survey conducted in March of this year, 84% of respondents would happily recommend working in Undead Labs.
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