Studio Persona Theory Struck With Sexual Assault Accusations

Persona Theory is a small indie studio that’s made chiefly narrative-driven experiences, namely Kabaret, The Lonely Hearts Petshop, Project Half Light, and Fires at Midnight.

In their ongoing effort to recognize up-and-coming talent, the Game Awards has nominated Saqina Latif in their Future Class of 2023, who is the director at Persona Theory.

After this nomination was praised for recognizing Malaysian talent in the video game industry, several reports surfaced of Sexual Harassment, Workplace Misconduct, and the attempted coverup of these things from the higher-ups working at Persona Theory.

These aren’t usually about Saqina but rather a member of the studio she founded that she protects.

The Allegations Against Persona Theory

These reports all come from people on Reddit, most of whom took up internships at Persona Theory to get work experience in the industry and ended up meeting a guy at the company who would reportedly “harass men, women, full-time employees, everyone!”

Every victim that has come forward has said this has made it a terrible work environment and that delays on their games are likely due to this reason.

None of the victims coming forward with these accusations have said the specific employee’s name. However, they have all said they’ve reported this inappropriate behavior to Saqina, and she has actively chosen to do nothing about it.

One of them also reportedly said she told them, “We won’t gaslight you, this happened, we’re not doing anything,” to tell them the behavior was a known thing that they’re doing nothing to change.

On top of this inappropriate behavior, interns were forced to watch full playthroughs of the entire game during meetings where they would get nothing done and have their time wasted, not be paid if they chose to leave the studio early, received threatening messages at 2 AM, and often told their contributions weren’t good enough due to them not being done to one person’s exact specifications.

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is a frequent thing in the games industry, and it’s rare to hear about a good work environment as opposed to something like Activision Blizzard’s scandals.

Even more so in Malaysia, a country that only got a Sexual Harassment bill passed recently, inappropriate and unprofessional workplace behavior like this is highly prevalent.

The Game Awards hasn’t commented on the situation or retracted their award, having been more focused on short speeches and a funny comment about Call of Duty.

There are plenty of victims out there who’ve all witnessed the worst of what this company had to offer them, and all of them would be glad to see some statement or justice at all, but unfortunately, there’s been no progress made on that so far.

Further Reading

If you want to hear more about the latest news regarding indie game studios, here are some other articles you can check out.

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