Shake Up At Studio From Hell

Shake Up At Studio From Hell
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An awful situation may be turning around for the better. Controversial Trendy Entertainment president Jeremy Stieglitz will alter his role following Kotaku‘s report into the company’s practices yesterday, according to two people close to the situation.

Yesterday, we published an investigation into conditions at Trendy, which included testimonials from nine current and former employees. They described the studio as a toxic environment with low morale and constant crunch time, and alleged that Stieglitz treated staff quite poorly.

Following publication of our story yesterday, Stieglitz will change roles in a significant way, both sources said. Although Stieglitz remains with the company, he will no longer supervise staff on their next game, Dungeon Defenders II, according to both sources. One source said Stieglitz may work on a project independently.

It’s unclear whether Stieglitz was forced to change roles or stepped down voluntarily, but both sources told me they see positive changes coming to the studio in the near future.

In addition, one person claiming to be a current employee at Trendy wrote in a Kotaku comment yesterday that our report had a major effect on the company.

“Things are currently changing since the release of this article and for the first time, I sat at work yesterday and did not feel the usual hopelessness,” the alleged employee wrote. “I would ask that the community try to not judge all of us on the actions of a few and to not completely abandon our game before it has been released. There are people with families here and people who really want to make a great game and it is looking like we may have a chance to do so now.”

At some point next week, according to one person close to the situation, representatives from the company’s investors at Insight Venture Management will meet with employees to discuss morale and how to move forward.


  • it’s a real shame when something like this happens, I want to support the developers who have worked so hard on the title, but at the same time I don’t want to show any support for the companies actions until I’ve seen evidence of a turn-around.

  • I’m happy to hear this happened, but I expect it’s more a matter of responding to “bad press” than concern for the employees. But, at least, purchase of the game will validate the work of the employees rather than reward the poor behaviour of their boss.

  • Whatever the cause of the changes, if it results in better conditions for employees, if they are happier after the event… I think that translates into better results for us, the gamers, as we sample their products.

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