The Trendy Entertainment sexism allegations during the development of Dungeon Defenders 2 has the video game industry abuzz.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Dungeon Defenders 2 by Trendy Entertainment is a tower defense game. The sequel is expected to feature more RPG features, but unfortunately the development of the game is featuring allegations of sexism and employee abuse.
At the center of the Trendy sexism and abuse scandal is Jeremy Stieglitz, president and now former directorial manager at Trendy Entertainment. Stieglitz started his video game career by founding Artificial Studios, which created the Reality Engine only to be bought up by Epic Games since it competed with the Unreal Engine. His first released video game credits include Cell Factor and Monster Madness.
Under Jeremy Stieglitz, the development of Dungeon Defenders 2 required employees to endure 10 to 12 works hours at six to seven days per week. All game developers suffer from “crunch time” in order to meet launch dates in order to receive a publisher’s bonus for releasing on schedule.
But Trendy Entertainment has apparently been crunching all year round and no one wanted to complain because they feared Jeremy Stieglitz would fire them. One employee says, “I was so afraid of losing my job that I didn’t go to his funeral. It was probably one of my lowest points.”
The Trendy sexism scandal is collaborated by multiple whistleblowers who claim a man turned down a salary offer of $3,850 per month. But when a woman with similar credentials applied for the job she was offered only $3,000 per month.
Sexism at Trendy is supposedly part of the corporate environment, with one employee saying, “Artists have been hired (and very quickly left the studio) on the motto of, ‘Hire a woman—we can pay women less than we can men.” Talking about Jeremy Stieglitz, one person said, “[Jeremy Stieglitz' won't even look at women. He would go [to] the room one was in and stand to the side and yell into the room… without ever going in.”
Jeremy Stieglitz apparently wanted to sex up the female characters in Dungeon Defenders 2, saying, “Needs to be more like [a] Brazilian beach super model if you know what I mean. It’d also be nice if the ass was attractive.” Unfortunately, this type of attitude litters the game industry, which is why we end up with scantily clad female characters with barely fitting armor.
The International Game Developers Association condemns such practices as alleged by the Trendy Dungeon Defenders 2 sexism scandal:
“Studios engaging in excessive overtime injure the reputation of the entire game industry, preventing top talent from entering and remaining in game development, and harming the goodwill of other studios that work rigorously to ensure quality of life for their developers… Further we believe that gender discrimination of any type has no place in the workplace and is completely unacceptable.”
The good news is that “Stieglitz was forced to change roles or stepped down voluntarily.” The employees at Trendy ask gamers to support Dungeon Defenders 2 despite the scandal since their families depend on the game’s success.
The bad news is that video game industry abuses like this have been happening for a long time. Anyone remember the EA_spouse scandal? That ended in a $14.9 million settlement, but apparently game publishers never learned their lesson.
How do you think the video game industry should react to the Trendy Dungeon Defenders 2 sexism scandal?