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News Rocksteady Studios (Developers of Batman Arkham Series) accused of inaction over staff harassment (Holy misogyny, Batman!)

Jan 11, 2019
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Exclusive: Signatory of letter to bosses two years ago makes it public, alleging sexism continues.

More than half of the women employed at the London-based video game developer Rocksteady two years ago signed a letter to bosses accusing the studio of failing to prevent sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour in the office, the Guardian can reveal.

The letter, dated November 2018 and signed by 10 of the company’s 16 female staff at the time, raised complaints about behaviour including “slurs regarding the transgendered community” and “discussing a woman in a derogatory or sexual manner with other colleagues”, and sexual harassment “in the form of unwanted advances, leering at parts of a woman’s body, and inappropriate comments in the office”.

Since then it is claimed that the response has amounted to one training seminar, and that multiple signatories have left the company owing to the lack of action.

One of the letter’s signatories, who asked to remain anonymous, said she had decided to share the letter with the Guardian because she felt people were still suffering from sexism, harassment and inappropriate behaviour at Rocksteady.

“I have heard everything from groping claims to incidents involving [senior staff], all of whom are men,” she said. “Yet the only thing we had as a result was a company-wide seminar that lasted an hour. Everyone who attended was asked to sign a statement confirming that they’d received the training. It felt that it was a just way for them to cover their arses.”

She said the letter was kept private in part due to the company’s devotion to secrecy, which is not unusual in the video game sector, and in part because staff members feared that if they left on bad terms they would be denied credit on the company’s upcoming game, an adaptation of DC Comics’ Suicide Squad.

The signatory said the dismissive attitude towards women had in the past carried over into the company’s output. “Rocksteady doesn’t have the best reputation for representing women,” she said, citing the highly sexualised design and costuming of characters such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in previous games. “Sometimes you could see the surprise on their face when you said that’s not how women dress.”

Rocksteady acknowledged it had received complaints about sexual discrimination and harassment. “From day one at Rocksteady Studios, we set out to create a place where people are looked after, a place fundamentally built on respect and inclusion,” a spokesperson said.

“In 2018 we received a letter from some of our female employees expressing concerns they had at that time, and we immediately took firm measures to address the matters that were raised. Over the subsequent two years we have carefully listened to and learned from our employees, working to ensure every person on the team feels supported. In 2020 we are more passionate than ever to continue to develop our inclusive culture, and we are determined to stand up for all of our staff.”

Last Thursday, after the Guardian contacted Rocksteady for comment, management called an all-staff meeting where they discussed the letter for the first time. New initiatives were promised to prevent further discrimination, the Guardian understands.

The signatory cited recent changes at the French games firm Ubisoft as another reason for sharing the letter. Last month several executives, including the chief creative officer and second-in-command, Serge Hascoët, resigned amid allegations of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour at the company.

“I think a good outcome [of publicising the letter] is basically showing the games industry in general [that] no matter how big your company is, how much you promote it as supportive of diversity, if you keep putting your head in the sand you will eventually be outed,” the woman said.

“I’d say 97%-98% of the developers there are incredible people, and it’s so unfair that this will land on them because a few people weren’t managed properly.”

Rocksteady, which is owned by Warner Bros Interactive, is one of the leading lights in the UK’s video game development industry and counts the Batman Arkham series among its titles.

Video games now account for half of all UK entertainment revenue, with the industry contributing more than £4bn to the economy.

 
Jul 2, 2020
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Lost me at

“Rocksteady doesn’t have the best reputation for representing women,” she said, citing the highly sexualised design and costuming of characters such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in previous games. “Sometimes you could see the surprise on their face when you said that’s not how women dress.”
 

oagboghi2

Member
Apr 15, 2018
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That would explain why the Arkham games always felt unique. It was mostly guys at the helm as the producers.

So now what? The SS game will be retooled to go focus exclusively on Harley Quinn?
 
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420bits

Member
Feb 18, 2014
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if i would run a company i know who i wouldn't hire. Women.
Granted, i don't know the full story, none of us do. But fuck risking my company, career over some dogcunt who wakes up one day and decides to put on her pussyhat and go on a fullblown rampage.


“I have heard everything from groping claims to incidents involving [senior staff], all of whom are men,” she said. “Yet the only thing we had as a result was a company-wide seminar that lasted an hour. Everyone who attended was asked to sign a statement confirming that they’d received the training. It felt that it was a just way for them to cover their arses.”
- I have heard claims, i haven't seen them but fuck you, I've heard about it! oh and that senior management, they are all fucking men, why are no women represented there?! where is my cut i don't deserve!
Also, that rumor i heard about groping, since it was a rumor and they just made us go through some mandatory video about it, they should have fired all the men, on the spot without any evidence! Perhaps the men who were accused actually had a talk with amnagement, i don't know but that doesnt fit my agenda so to the media we go!

The signatory said the dismissive attitude towards women had in the past carried over into the company’s output. “Rocksteady doesn’t have the best reputation for representing women,” she said, citing the highly sexualised design and costuming of characters such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in previous games. “Sometimes you could see the surprise on their face when you said that’s not how women dress.”
- its a comic, fuck you if you don't agree with it make your own game. If i don't agree with how someone dresses i just mind my own fucking business and that was the best argument you could fart out to the media? a imaginary dress on an imaginary character? sounds like a MASSIVE problem to the world. Have you seen instagram or twitch? Go after them if you want a fight, oh wait you cant because they do it voluntarily. Have you ever seen a man dressed as batman? fucking ripped suite and a huge bulge, thats not sexualized? Why don't you complain about that as well?

“I think a good outcome [of publicising the letter] is basically showing the games industry in general [that] no matter how big your company is, how much you promote it as supportive of diversity, if you keep putting your head in the sand you will eventually be outed,” the woman said.
“I’d say 97%-98% of the developers there are incredible people, and it’s so unfair that this will land on them because a few people weren’t managed properly.”
- Just according to keikaku, we saw someone get hanged for shit and now we want the same because 2-3% of the entire staff is assholes, its unfair to drag them into this but we kinda have to because feminism. BRING YOUR FUCKING PITCHFORKS BITCHES WE ARE GOING TO WAR!
What happend to just telling people to fuckoff or just ignore them? If someone would grab my dick at work, i would report that, if someone would hit on me and i didn't want to i would tell them "nah, not interested, don't do that again".


Fucking talk to people, don't go to media because you want some fucking e-fame or just a head on your resume that you eliminated to feel empowered. What the fuck is wrong with people!?
 
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//DEVIL//

Member
May 28, 2014
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Man they can fuck of with that harassment bullshit ( unwanted advance ) . Was trying to swallow what i am reading till I had enough at that line . When a guy ask a woman out is not called an unwanted advance . It’s called being a guy.

what is worse is these stupid freaks on these sites trying to push for a drama out of nothing. Who wrote the article ? A woman trying to find attention or a feminist guy trying to impress to get laid ? There is no way in hell a full normal adult male will call it ( un wanted move ) like seriously wtf is up with these snow flakes bullshit ?

can someone send these people to the frontline in some war or something please ?

sexual harassment is one thing . And a guy is making by asking her is a different thing.

unless the unwanted moves is touching her body without her approval , then there is nothing to see here.

No wonder why most companies don’t like t hire women , because of these attention seeking women
 
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Golgo 13

The Man With The Golden Dong
Jun 14, 2014
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Just more miserable, entitled, ungrateful women who walked around a corner when two men were having a private discussion about something that “triggered” them. Life is harsh and your feelings will be hurt. Grow the fuck up and move to the Middle East if you REALLY want to stand against oppression of women.
 
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I don’t see what yous are so angry about, sexual harassment is sexual harassment it shouldn’t happen, it’s not like they are saying all the men there are bad, “I’d say 97%-98% of the developers there are incredible people, and it’s so unfair that this will land on them because a few people weren’t managed properly.”. It’s a fair and balanced argument unlike a lot of what we have seen recently.
 

rofif

Member
Sep 13, 2019
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Just more miserable, entitled, ungrateful women who walked around a corner when two men were having a private discussion about something that “triggered” them. Life is harsh and your feelings will be hurt. Grow the fuck up and move to the Middle East if you REALLY want to stand against oppression of women.
It's like every workplace with thousands of people. People just acting normally, not even being dicks probably but if you don't tiptoe around some people, this can happen. Ofc it can be a full or rape hidden by management!!! Guess Jim sterling will jump on it
 
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Gamerguy84

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Mar 25, 2019
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I feel sorry for the single men in the world today if "leering at parts of the female body" requires action taken against you or there is hell to pay.
 

JerryinSoCal

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Apr 11, 2020
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Act like a robot at work, you aren't allowed to even talk to a woman like a person anymore. Actually this is probably mostly women who are younger and in these artistic fields. I've worked in offices full of women before and while I was generally younger than most of them let me tell you women can be big pervs too and it's funny as hell. Just ask any fireman who has to go in and do safety inspections for offices, hospitals etc what kind of reaction they get form the female employees, it's pretty much the same thing as the stereotypical way construction workers are said to act when any woman walks by their site lol.
 

Golgo 13

The Man With The Golden Dong
Jun 14, 2014
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It's like every workplace with thousands of people. People just acting normally, not even being dicks probably but if you don't tiptoe around some people, this can happen. Ofc it can be a full or rape hidden by management!!! Guess Jim sterling will jump on it
There is a %100 chance Jim Sterling will make a video about this.
 

Dr.D00p

Member
May 23, 2019
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The letter, dated November 2018 and signed by 10 of the company’s 16 female staff at the time, raised complaints about behaviour including “slurs regarding the transgendered community” and “discussing a woman in a derogatory or sexual manner with other colleagues”, and sexual harassment “in the form of unwanted advances, leering at parts of a woman’s body, and inappropriate comments in the office”.

When these women are 50yrs old, surrounded by their cats, feeling miserable & lonely, they might want to look back on this and wonder why no men wanted to risk going near them.
 

Elcid

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Jul 27, 2018
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So most women suck cause they don’t cosplay? What planet are you living on mate.
You’re bucketing women you know as most but I hate to break it to you govnah that the majority of women do enjoy dressing sexy and cosplaying fun sexy characters. Halloween is a perfect example. You probably just know a bunch of purple haired land whales as a reference.
 

Barakov

Member
Sep 30, 2006
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It's the same talking points all over again. Also the 'characters are too sexy' argument is in there as well. Honestly, at this point just don't hire women. Ladies, if you want a game where the female characters aren't highly sexulaized in your opinion, go make your own superhero game. At this point, gatekeeping is necessary to keep people like this woman who published the letter out of videogames.
 
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TheMay30thMan

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Aug 23, 2018
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“Rocksteady doesn’t have the best reputation for representing women,” she said, citing the highly sexualised design and costuming of characters such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in previous games. “Sometimes you could see the surprise on their face when you said that’s not how women dress.”

Someone didn’t bother to read the source material...
 

Zoro7

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Sep 15, 2013
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You’re bucketing women you know as most but I hate to break it to you govnah that the majority of women do enjoy dressing sexy and cosplaying fun sexy characters. Halloween is a perfect example. You probably just know a bunch of purple haired land whales as a reference.
Absolute nonsense. Stop talking mate.
 

Rikkori

Member
May 9, 2020
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The woman in the video seems genuine. I know in other cases the pendulum swung automatically the other way, but I think in this case it's genuinely some guys taking too many liberties than they should at work and abusing their position when things don't go their way. Any company worth its salt will want to rid itself of such people because in the end they're a net negative.
 
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dottme

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Sep 28, 2013
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Shit came out for maximum effect with a few days to go for the reveal of the new game. Well played.
That's Wass really my reaction. We have a 2 years old letter and we just found it just before the next game announcement. hum.......

There might be actual issue but it's hard to take them seriously when it's clear that the main objectives is to get some clicks.
 

Reallink

Member
Jan 7, 2008
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The signatory said the dismissive attitude towards women had in the past carried over into the company’s output. “Rocksteady doesn’t have the best reputation for representing women,” she said, citing the highly sexualised design and costuming of characters such as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in previous games. “Sometimes you could see the surprise on their face when you said that’s not how women dress.”

*BREAKING* First Rocksteady Suicide Squad Image Leaked

 
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Atrus

Gold Member
Jul 16, 2007
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I look at these things as if I were running the business. If its criminial, call the police. If its a nuisance or bad behaviour, toss the offender. You can't have bad apples ruining the team dynamics.

This goes for emplyees that don't know, don't care, or never learned personal boundaries in as much as employees who think their worldview and politics should be accounted for because they whine about it.

You're being paid to make money for other people, so change the world on your own time and on your own dime.

The first female billionaire in South-East Asia put her flight attendants in bikinis claiming ""We don’t mind people associating the airline with the bikini image. If that makes people happy, then we are happy."

Now you know why she's a billionaire and people complaining about the attire of comic book characters will accomplish nothing meaningful in their lives. I also find it silly that people would lump these types of criticisms in with the more serious charges being made.

Allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace are serious concerns while character attire is not.
 
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