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State of Play's Aeon Must Die Reveal Overshadowed By Alleged Workplace Abuse

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BatmanH

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Aug 25, 2020
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The purported developers behind Aeon Must Die, a new beat’em up game that was shown off during the Sony State of Play livestream, have gone public with accusations against their CEO for gross mismanagement and IP theft. The publisher, Focus Home Interactive, has also released a statement on the matter. Shortly after Aeon Must Die premiered during the State of Play livestream, reports began circulating that the newly announced title was “stolen” from developers at Limestone Games. A second Aeon trailer appeared on YouTube from a private user with the description: “This trailer was created with abuse, manipulation, theft.” [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/08/06/aeon-must-die-story-trailer-state-of-play-2020"] Among the allegations from the developers that IGN has reviewed include “unbearable work conditions with endless crunch,” legal threats, a failure to establish a dialogue between employees and management, and IP theft. There was also a link to a Dropbox folder meant for media detailing a full list of allegations from the developers against the CEO, Yaroslv Lyssenko. The developers also allege that they’ve notified the publisher, Focus Home Interactive, but claim that the publisher did not help them. In a statement published on Twitter, Focus Home Interactive says that “These grievances are directed at Limestone, their employer. As the publisher of this video game, Focus is carefully looking into these allegations and will draw the necessary conclusions if they are proved to be well-founded, and then take appropriate measures.”
Our statement regarding Limestone Games and Aeon Must Die!. pic.twitter.com/75ldhtp27T

— Focus Home Interactive (@FocusHome) August 7, 2020
Since the allegations have gone public, Limestone’s official website includes a link to a new company Twitter account that only has a single link to the same Dropbox folder containing the allegations of abuse. Focus Home says no further comment will be shared until the publisher as a “clearer and complete view on this matter.” [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.

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