Weeks after a number of former NetherRealm employees shared grim accounts of working at the studio, the Injustice and Mortal Kombat developer has pledged to investigate their claims.
In a statement to Variety, a NetherRealm spokesperson said:
At NetherRealm Studios, we greatly appreciate and respect all of our employees and prioritize creating a positive work experience. As an equal opportunity employer, we encourage diversity and constantly take steps to reduce crunch time for our employees. We are actively looking into all allegations, as we take these matters very seriously and are always working to improve our company environment. There are confidential ways for employees to raise any concerns or issues.
The allegations against NetherRealm go far beyond crunch. According to a recent report by US Gamer, the studio hired temporary workers who were looking to break into the games industry, and crammed them in “box-like, windowless” rooms. They were paid little to encourage them to work overtime for more pay.
Studio head, Shaun Himmerick, was specifically named by some former employees who recounted their harrowing experiences. One employee alleged that an Injustice leak online resulted in Himmerick humiliating and shouting at staff, and threatening them with legal action and being blacklisted in the industry.
Prior to US Gamer’s report, several former employees took to social media to claim that they were often harassed and forced to work weekends. At least two employees attempted to take action legal action, resulting in their contracts being terminated.
“I have never been more aware of my gender and insignificance at a workplace,” former QA Analyst, Rebecca Rothschild told Variety. “I left with scars and fear of an industry I am deeply passionate about. I don’t like being a news story. I just want management to at least consider the other side and try to be better.”
We’ll continue to update our readers as this story develops.