Narrative designer Meg Jayanth has accused Cultist Simulator developer Alexis Kennedy of exploitative and predatory conduct towards young women in the games industry, in a thread posted on Twitter.
Jayanth, who worked with Kennedy on Sunless Sea at Failbetter Games, claimed that Kennedy has ‘a pattern of “befriending” young women who are entering the industry and then crosses professional boundaries with them.’ According to Jayanth, Kennedy uses his reputation and success to ‘exploit women sexually + professionally’, and that his connections with established female game developers are ‘a cover for his predations and abuses.’ Jayanth claimed that Kennedy has ‘threatened many women with retaliation to ensure silence + compliance.’
Failbetter Games writer Olivia Wood, in a Twitter thread of her own, said, ‘I was in a relationship with Alexis Kennedy for nearly two years. He was my line manager the entire time,’ before adding, ‘During our relationship he cheated on me with people brought to company events, and who were wanting to work with the company.’
Wood claims that once Kennedy was no longer her partner, he became antagonistic, and that he would verbally berate her and her work, but she remained at Failbetter Games. ‘He was still the CEO and had (I thought) my career in his hands. He had always seemed popular and powerful in the industry, and I feared he could get me blackballed,’ Wood wrote.
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