Indie studio Funomena could close after allegations of abuse and financial concerns

Indie game studio Funomena, the developer behind games Wattam, Luna, and other “playful, experimental and emotionally engaging experiences,” said Tuesday it could “be forced to close the studio,” citing financial concerns. The news of the possible closure of Funomena was reported Tuesday by People Make Games’ Chris Brattwho previously reported on allegations of workplace abuse and mistreatment made against studio co-founder Robin Hunicke.

In a recent episode of People Make Games, Bratt shared the results of investigations into three indie studios: Mountains, Fullbright, and Funomena. Bratt said he interviewed eight former Funomena employees who worked on one of the two Wattamthe game off Katamari Damacy Designer Keita Takahashi, or Lunaa 2017 “interactive PC and VR fairy tale.” These employees described emotional abuse, humiliation, and other unprofessional behavior by Hunicke and said they felt traumatized by their experiences while working at Funomena.

You can check out the full People Make Games report below.

Hunicke responded to this report on Twitter, who said last week, “Leadership is a journey and often a difficult one. It saddens me to know that people are hurt by mistakes I’ve made. I’m really sorry. Right now I’m taking the time to talk to people, focus on the feedback everyone is sharing and work out the next steps.”

On Tuesday, Funomena announced this via its official Twitter account that the studio was looking for investment to keep it afloat, but warned studio staff and contractors that it could close.

“Funomena was in the process of closing an investment round just before GDC and we’re still actively working on that,” the studio said. “Last week we let everyone know that if we didn’t complete the fundraiser successfully, we would have to close the studio.

“We love game development, we love making games and we love bringing people into the community”, added the studio. “We sincerely hope that we can continue to do this together.”

However, Funomena followed along with these tweets one third that seemed to be begging other studios to look into job opportunities for outgoing employees.

Polygon reached out to co-founder Robin Hunicke for comment Tuesday, but received no response. Funomena was founded in 2013 by Hunicke and Martin Middleton, formerly thatgamecompany.

https://www.polygon.com/23003059/funomena-closure-wattam-robin-hunicke Indie studio Funomena could close after allegations of abuse and financial concerns

Charles Jones

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