Skyrim Composer and Night in the Woods Dev Accused of Rape

Steam, Deals & More.
User avatar
DjchunKfunK
Bar Staff
Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:02 am

Skyrim Composer and Night in the Woods Dev Accused of Rape

Post by DjchunKfunK » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:33 am

A couple of women have come forward over the past two days to accuse Jeremy Soule (composer on Skyrim and Guild Wars 2 among others) and Alec Howloka (developer on Night in the Woods) of rape and sexual abuse. The Jeremy Soule one in particular is horrid and casts his work in a whole different light. It also highlights once again how poorly women are treated in the game development community.



http://www.nathalielawhead.com/candybox/calling-out

User avatar
Wrathbone
Posts: 791
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:08 am

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by Wrathbone » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:06 am

Terrible. And as much as I try to separate art from artist, I think the Elder Scrolls music may sound tainted from now on.

User avatar
Sly Boots
Bar Staff
Posts: 2687
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:34 am
Location: Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by Sly Boots » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:13 am

Yes, and I'll also be de-wishlisting Night in the Woods when I next log into Steam.

User avatar
Sly Boots
Bar Staff
Posts: 2687
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:34 am
Location: Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by Sly Boots » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:19 am

Made the mistake of reading a reddit thread about the Soule allegation, which was an absolute dumpster fire and a reminder of just how awful a lot of people on the internet are.

User avatar
DjchunKfunK
Bar Staff
Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:02 am

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by DjchunKfunK » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:26 am

I doubt I'll be listening to the Skyrim OST any more.

User avatar
Sly Boots
Bar Staff
Posts: 2687
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:34 am
Location: Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by Sly Boots » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:38 am

One of the most telling things from the Howolka allegation is that after describing her experience but keeping the name involved anonymous, she got other female devs contacting her asking "was it Alec" as they'd been through similar.

When you look at stories like this and also factor in all the other pieces about industry working conditions that have really started coming out in the last couple of years in particular, it seems pretty clear the industry is sick - people's health, mental and physical, lives, livelihoods and careers are being destroyed all as a matter of course in the name of creating entertainment.

Something has to change, maybe it needs to at least start with some kind of independent regulatory body imposing a mandatory code of ethics that gets annually audited, along with anonymous, regulated whistleblowing services, and companies have to meet a certain standard, and for those that don't while they wouldn't be restricted from releasing games at least make sure people know who they are so they can make purchasing decisions accordingly, while for those in the industry it would serve as a huge red flag in terms of working with/for them.

User avatar
DjchunKfunK
Bar Staff
Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:02 am

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by DjchunKfunK » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:03 am

Yeah there are deep seated issues but I would say that it's not just the gaming industry, most industries have the same issues, my workplace for example is currently going through sexual harassment and bullying stuff. Work in general is in a place where it is designed to ring as much out of people and then discard them to be replaced by the next generation, without any kind of concern for their welfare.

User avatar
Sly Boots
Bar Staff
Posts: 2687
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:34 am
Location: Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by Sly Boots » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:58 am

DjchunKfunK wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:03 am
Yeah there are deep seated issues but I would say that it's not just the gaming industry, most industries have the same issues, my workplace for example is currently going through sexual harassment and bullying stuff. Work in general is in a place where it is designed to ring as much out of people and then discard them to be replaced by the next generation, without any kind of concern for their welfare.
I'm sure every industry has its problems, but I can't think of many that have a crunch culture that has become the norm, where swathes of people are routinely forced to take extended stress-related leaves of absence, become chronically unwell and consider (or commit) suicide.

I've worked in a corporate environment for almost 20 years and I know ethics is a big byword at the moment - the company I write magazines for has long since signed up to an ethical code of conduct, launched an anonymous, independently run whistleblowing service that we promote in each edition (and I know does get used and the issues raised get investigated), and conducts ethics audits of its suppliers and any that don't meet the required standards don't get their business.

It's probably not perfect, but it's something, and would surely help addressing some of the issues with the videogames industry where they seem to be not only prevalent but raised to extremes - probably because it's a glamorous industry in which people not only feel passionate about working in but would give almost anything to do so. While the issues are different, it's similar to the child abuse issues within football going back decades which are now being brought to light - a glamorous industry people would do anything to succeed in, which then attracts predators who take advantage of that. See also the music and film/TV industries.

We've surely become enlightened enough now as a society where we should be doing everything to ensure people can work safely in whatever field they're in, and perhaps now with everything coming to light in all these different industries we'll see things gradually improve.

User avatar
Mantis
Landlord
Posts: 1392
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:39 pm
Location: The Grid

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by Mantis » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:08 pm

The sexual harassment and bullying at my workplace has consistently been flagged as totally unacceptable in staff surveys and we have quite a high throughput of young female staff who just can't take it after a while. Workplaces are just full of people who don't actually give a crap about one another or management that don't have the spine to do anything about it.

I think mistreatment of staff and abusive cultures are prevalent in the gaming industry as generally employees are very passionate about their jobs and companies exploit that to try and force them into putting up with more crap.

Some of the stuff about Soule is actually quite creepy if true.

User avatar
Alan
Posts: 515
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:35 pm

Re: Skrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by Alan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:13 pm

How hard is it to be decent. It’s actually much more work to be an utter Edwin ](*,)
I used to be eVoL but I got better.
I like everything now.

User avatar
DjchunKfunK
Bar Staff
Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:02 am

Re: Skyrim Composer and Night in the Woods Dev Accused of Rape

Post by DjchunKfunK » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:47 pm

There are always outliers Sly sure and the same goes for the gaming industry where there are plenty of companies who don't exploit their workforce, but you are right 'passion' is used in the gaming industry to exploit.

User avatar
Sly Boots
Bar Staff
Posts: 2687
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:34 am
Location: Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Skyrim Composer and Night in the Woods Dev Accused of Rape

Post by Sly Boots » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:58 pm

In light of today's news, it makes this announcement from last week rather apt (I only just remembered it now) - a new 'ethical' publisher with zero tolerance policy on crunch and other issues:

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/ ... -practices

Hopefully it works for them and will inspire others to do likewise.

User avatar
Wrathbone
Posts: 791
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:08 am

Re: Skyrim composer and Night in the Woods dev accused of rape

Post by Wrathbone » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:10 pm

Alan wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:13 pm
How hard is it to be decent. It’s actually much more work to be an utter Edwin ](*,)
Completely. I think I must have lucked out when it comes to the place I work and the vast majority of people I know in life, because the sort of horrific work cultures and abysmal people I hear about all over society are alien to me. I work in a smallish dev team (not in gaming) where we generally get along, get the work done without the need for crunch and, importantly, try not to sexually assault each other. It's much easier than the alternative, I imagine.

User avatar
Raid
Posts: 931
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:07 am
Location: Keep of the Lead Lord

Re: Skyrim Composer and Night in the Woods Dev Accused of Rape

Post by Raid » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:43 pm

Out of interest, did Soule compose the Elder Scrolls theme that's been used since at least Morrowind? It'll be interesting to see whether Bethesda compose something else for the next installment.

User avatar
Wrathbone
Posts: 791
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:08 am

Re: Skyrim Composer and Night in the Woods Dev Accused of Rape

Post by Wrathbone » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:57 pm

He did.

Post Reply