Update: Matt Conn has confirmed he will be taking a leave of absence from Midboss amidst the allegations, and business operations for the company will be handled by Toni Rocca.
Original story: Developer Midboss and its CEO Matt Conn are being subject to allegations of workplace misconduct and underpaying its workers across its six years.
The allegations began with musician liquidcrystal posting on Twitter alleging Conn and other members of the company “mistreat their workers and have a streak of taking advantage of young queer people in tough situations in order to underpay them.” Following her initial tweet, the musician stated she received several messages from people who worked with Midboss, who claim Conn “undervalues women” and has been known to sexually harass employees.
While several people were unwilling to condemn Midboss’ workplace culture publicly, citing the studio’s small size as an easy way for the accusations to be traced back to them, others denounced it on their personal Twitter accounts. Ex-Midboss employee Tyler Gausvik listed off ”sexual harassment/misbehavior, emotional manipulation, and other really toxic behavior” as examples of the hostile work environment they experienced at the company. Both Guasvik and freelance writer Ellen McGrody claim to have made less than minimum wage during their stint at Midboss.
Conn has since addressed the allegations on his personal Twitter account, and has confirmed he is resigning from his role as part of GaymerX, an LGBTQ focused gaming convention, and that there will be shifts in Midboss’ workforce to better distribute money to its employees. This will include ending its low-paying internships and laying off a majority of staff to better support a smaller team.
Midboss was founded by the members of the GaymerX team in 2012, and went on to develop Read Only Memories, an adventure game that has been ported to systems such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile devices. A Switch port is set to launch on April 5th. The team also Kickstarted the creation of the documentary Gaming in Color, which focused on the inclusion of queer characters and developers in the game industry.
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