Indie Developer Funomena Reportedly Closing After Hostile Workplace Allegations

Indie Developer Funomena Reportedly Closing After Hostile Workplace Allegations

Funomena, a San Francisco-based independent game developer mostly known for picking up Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi’s Wattam, will reportedly close its doors at the end of this month. According to People Make Games’ Chris Bratt, which published a bombshell video report a few weeks ago on the poor work culture at Funomena, studio leadership laid off all of the contractors last week and is letting everyone else go in a few days.

I’m absolutely gutted to report that Funomena is set to be closed by the end of this month, with all contractors already having been laid off as of last Wednesday.

This is an extremely sad end to the studio’s story and I hope everyone affected is able to land on their feet.

— Chris Bratt (@chrisbratt) March 29, 2022

“I’m absolutely gutted to report that Funomena is set to be closed by the end of this month, with all contractors already having been laid off as of last Wednesday,” Bratt wrote. “This is an extremely sad end to the studio’s story and I hope everyone affected is able to land on their feet.”

The accusations against Funomena largely center around Robin Hunicke, the studio’s CEO and well-known figure in the San Francisco game developer community. According to employees at Funomena, Hunicke would belittle them using private information from their lives and the lack of any kind of Human Resources department meant there was never anyone to reach out to for help. Hunicke stayed quiet until last week, on the first day of the Game Developers Conference, when she tweeted a passive-voice apology for non-specific things.

Leadership is a journey, and often a difficult one.

It saddens me to know people are hurting from mistakes I’ve made. I am truly sorry. Right now I’m taking time to talk to people, focus on the feedback everyone is sharing, and figure out next steps.

— Robin Hunicke (@hunicke) March 22, 2022

“Leadership is a journey, and often a difficult one,” the tweet starts. “It saddens me to know people are hurting from mistakes I’ve made. I am truly sorry. Right now I’m taking time to talk to people, focus on the feedback everyone is sharing, and figure out next steps.”

According to the timeline Bratt laid out, all the contractors for the company lost their jobs two days after this tweet.

We have reached out to Funomena, who seems to have scrubbed their press email address from their website, for confirmation but did not receive a response by time of publishing. We will update when we hear back from them.

Author: Deann Hawkins