Matt Conn announced that he will be taking a leave from his game studio, MidBoss, after allegations of inappropriate behavior, harassment, and underpaying staff at his studio. Conn is also stepping down from his position as CEO of the GaymerX Foundation, a nonprofit that hosts LGBTQ game events.
Conn announced his departure from GaymerX and his break from MidBoss in a tweet today where he wrote, "Effective immediately I'm resigning from GaymerX and all activities involved in that and I'll also be taking a leave from MidBoss once I can make sure the remaining employees payroll is handled."
It is deeply hard for me to talk about this, but I have heard some of these allegations first and second hand. I am a former MidBoss employee. I earned less than minimum wage. I wrote it off as okay, but in light of these allegations, I can’t justify their behavior anymore. https://t.co/jHULXSiz8X— Ellen McGrody (@kadybat) March 23, 2018
MidBoss is the studio behind the indie hit 2064: Read Only Memories which first released on PC back in 2015. The game's treatment of its LGBTQ characters was widely praised by game critics. However, former MidBoss employees began sharing on social media platforms like Twitter that while working for Conn they were verbally abused, sexually harassed, and underpaid.
Several former employees shared that while at MidBoss, they were paid less than minimum wage and were threatened with legal action by Conn. What's more, these former employees were told by Conn that they would "develop a negative reputation" for bringing up the issues against the studio.
Former MidBoss employee Tyler Gausvik told GamesBeat, "Nothing I was saying was untrue," regarding the work conditions at MidBoss, "however I wasn't going to keep talking if there was even a chance of legal action because I didn't have that kind of money[.]"
Other allegations against Conn claim that his behavior at work was harassment and inappropriately sexual. There were also accusations that he emotionally manipulated his employees and created a generally toxic workplace.
GaymerX was founded in 2013 as a games event and inclusive space for LGBTQ gamers and game developers, with events having taken place in New York and Sydney, Australia.
Conn issued longer statements about his decision to step down from GaymerX and his break from MidBoss writing, "In regards to my behavior, I've never intentionally tried to make anyone uncomfortable, but I know my intense management style and just unconventional lifestyle puts people off and if I wanna have a career I need to act right."