Skullgirls Designer Worked On Guilty Gear Patch Despite Sexual Harassment Accusations

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Skullgirls Designer Worked On Guilty Gear Patch Despite Sexual Harassment Accusations
Screenshot: Arc System Works

Lab Zero Games developer Mike Zaimont has been suspended from work on an official Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R netcode patch, Gamasutra reports. The fact that the former Skullgirls designer was working on this patch as recently as October 24 is surprising, given recent accusations by both fans and fellow employees of sexual harassment. Zaimont was apparently contracted by Arc System Works sometime after these allegations came to light.

Arc System Works rep Takeshi Yamanaka told Gamasutra that they knew of the situation with Zaimont and that he was hired with the understanding that those allegations would be resolved in some form. That understanding has since changed.

“Arc System Works has now agreed […] to suspend MikeZ’s participation in development until he has addressed the outstanding matters,” Yamanaka said.

The netcode patch, developed in part by a community group known as Team French CaliBurst, was first brought to Arc System Works’ attention by Zaimont earlier this year. After Arc System Works decided to collaborate with Team French CaliBurst, the group requested that Zaimont be contracted to work on the Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R update, to which Arc System Works agreed.

“We have the expectation for [Zaimont] to resolve the allegations against him in good faith,” Yamanaka told Gamasutra. “Now that the development has came to a milestone, and with your [outreach], we thought it to be a good time for [Zaimont] to start working towards a resolution.”

Shortly after initial allegations against Zaimont were made public in June, the Skullgirls community largely distanced themselves from him, and he was banned from major fighting game events like Combo Breaker. Lab Zero Games then saw a mass exodus of high-profile developers and artists, each of whom cited Zaimont’s behaviour both inside and outside the studio as their main impetus for leaving. Zaimont eventually laid off the rest of the Lab Zero staff due to not being able to meet payroll obligations.

Comments

  • Yeah… Nobody should be even remotely entertaining the notion that mere accusation should torpedo someone’s life. Plain and simple.

    Why? Because even if this person is guilty… What about the ones that haven’t been in the past, ones FAR too many journalists absolutely jump at the chance to help ruin for clicks?

    Or the ones that wont be guilty in the future, but authors still sit there in their articles going on about how they find it odd they aren’t yet fired and such because someone accused them of something?

    • Dude, you come into EVERY article and say this very same thing.

      Either you’re getting paid to defend alleged sex offenders as a full time job or you have a deep personal investment in doing so.

      And if it’s the latter, it’s not rocket science to work out what prompts you.

      • This just in, Worrito accuses anyone who disagrees with them of being a sex offender.

        So worrito, If I accused you of being a sex pest, does that mean you should be fired from your job just because I accused you?

    • It seems to just be the unsettling trend these days. Write something offensive on Twitter 5 years ago? You’re out on your ear and forever shunned from the industry. Did something you regret last year? Too bad, an apology isn’t good enough, you’re excommunicated. Allegations made against you that haven’t been tried yet? Trial by internet and guilty is the only verdict.

      Never forgive, never forget.

      • Its all about a power complex. They lack in their actual lives so they have to destroy others to make themselves feel better.

      • I’m still waiting for Kotaku to cover Projared’s response on the “grooming” allegations… I’m sure Kotaku will excercise proper journalistic due diligence right?

        It’s not as if we would just actively do Cancel Culture stuff and not take responsibility for fanning the flames when evidence comes out to the contrary later right? right? I mean he did respond a few months or so later on Around August…. back in 2019

    • 100%. I’m in no way defending sex-pests or convicted offenders, but there needs to be greater respect around the term ‘alleged’. This is pretty poor form suggesting that someone allegedly guilty of a crime shouldn’t be employed.
      I have a friend who was accused of a crime he didn’t commit. It destroyed his life even though he was eventually acquitted.

    • Hmm… oh you mean like ProJared? Fairly sure no one has actually every covered the fact that all the allegations were trumped up after he took a few months off basically building a case with proof and defence on the “grooming” stuff..

      But hey who would ever publish and recant an article like that?

      • Ehh.. I seem to recall a few people saying they wouldnt mind if it meant other peoples cases were taken seriously..

        So honestly its a lost cause in my books….

      • I was falsely accused of rape when I was 17. It sucked, but I have zero animosity toward the people who believed my accuser because the alternative would be to let a potentially sexual abuser keep on abusing.

        I’m not a court. I couldn’t access due process even if I needed to. All I have is several people independently accusing someone of sexual abuse and several other people backing those claims. That’s more than enough for me and if it isn’t enough for you, you’re taking the path that potentially allows abusers to get away with their abuse.

        Believe people who report sexual assault.

        • Fair enough. You were accused, therefore you are a rapist. I don’t understand why Kotaku allows sexual abusers like you to post on this site.

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