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Updated: Developer Scheurle leaves IGDA position following abuse allegations

Updated: Developer Scheurle leaves IGDA position following abuse allegations

Update: 22/9/21:The studio that employs Scheurle, Blackbird Interactive, has released a statement in the wake of the allegations leveled against the developer.

The firm has said that it is going to be investigating the accusations to see if any of this behavior occurred on its watch.

"Blackbird takes harassment very seriously, and we will take action to protect members of our team from inappropriate behavior in all forms," the studio said.

We are investigating whether events like the ones discussed on Twitter recently have occurred at Blackbird in any capacity, by anyone. We are enlisting the aid of third-party services to enable anonymous reporting and investigative processes that are thorough and free of any corporate bias.

Out of consideration for privacy, we will not comment on individual cases, but we will act decisively to support the comfort and safety of all Blackbird employees.

We recognize that the games industry has long been caught in a cycle of silence and abuse, that none of us are above reproach, and that the work to make our industry a better place requires a never-ending effort from us all."

Original Story, 20/9/21: Jennifer Scheurle has resigned from her position at the International Game Developer's Association (IGDA) following allegations of abuse and manipulation.

In a post on Twitter, Scheurle said that she was stepping down the role of chair for the organisation's Women in Games Special Interest Group and apologised for the harm she has caused people within the industry. One of her peers had previously discussed being on the receiving end of abuse and manipulation by someone within the industry; last week, they revealed that this was Scheurle.

This follows "multiple informal complaints" against Scheurle in 2018 before these became formalised in 2019 and 2020. On Twitter, King's Anna Brandberg said that the most recent bout of complaints were over 120 pages in length.

In a post on its website, the IGDA said that it had investigated the allegations against Scheurle but said there was not "compelling evidence of wrongdoing."

"The IGDA has a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of harassment and violence," the organisation wrote.

"We will not stand for harassment from any IGDA Board or staff member, volunteer leader, or at any IGDA-affiliated event. Still, we must abide by an anonymous investigation process and determine disciplinary action based on evidence.

"Any IGDA investigation can and will be reopened when additional requests are received. We ask that you send us any concerns, information, statements, or other materials to assist us with our investigation process to ensure the accurate resolution can take place."


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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