on August 24, 2020 at 3:12PM PDT
Several Lab Zero Games employees have announced their departure from the studio. The mass exodus is in response to Lab Zero Games director Mike “MikeZ” Zaimont going back on his word to step down from his position following harassment allegations.
“The reason Lab Zero never issued a statement about MikeZ is because he hasn’t let us,” former Lab Zero Games creative director and lead animator Mariel “Kinuko” Cartwright wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I’m here today because we had asked him to leave over these behaviors. He apologized for his behavior and said he would, but has now turned around and said he won’t, all the while continuing to intimidate and bully employees. Mike is the 100% shareholder of the company, and as such, it is his right to stay if he wants to.”
In another statement posted to Twitter, former Lab Zero Games art producer Brian “EU03” Jun clarified that Zaimont went back on his word to step down when his “unrealistically high and potentially illegal” terms weren’t met.
“Mike used intimidating and potentially retaliatory tactics to bully the team while refusing responsibility for his actions,” former Lab Zero Games senior animator Jonathan Kim wrote in their statement, also posted to Twitter. “He then gave all employees until August 31 to leave if they’re unsatisfied and so now we’re here.”
Quite a few other Lab Zero Games employees released similar statements or simply tweeted out that they were leaving the studio without supplying their exact reasons, including former senior animator Jebus “Simpai” Matoi and former senior artist Jessica Allen. Necrosoft Games director Brandon Sheffield also released a statement on Twitter about Lab Zero Games, speaking out about why he cut ties with the studio earlier this year.
Lab Zero Games developed Skullgirls and Indivisible, two video games often celebrated for their fun character designs, enjoyable combat, and diverse representation. It’s disappointing to see one man’s horrific actions and inexcusable handling of the aftermath lead to the dissolution of such a creative team.
World news – US – Skullgirls/Indivisible Devs Leave Studio Due To Director’s Harassment