PUBG Publisher Sued For Sexual Assault, Wrongful Termination [Update]

PUBG Publisher Sued For Sexual Assault, Wrongful Termination [Update]

PUBG publisher Krafton Inc. has been named in a wrongful termination and sexual assault lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles on December 7, 2023 by a 31-year-old unnamed former employee who alleges she was fired shortly after reporting the incident to upper management at the company.

Editor’s note: This story contains descriptions of alleged harassment and sexual assault. If you would prefer not to read about these things, and no judgment if you don’t, hit the back button now. — David.

The employee says that Kevin Kimball, Krafton’s then-head of strategy and business development, “forced himself” on her at a party hosted by Callisto Protocol developer Striking Distance following The Game Awards in December 2022. Despite working at Krafton for two years, where the lawsuit states she was “always an outstanding employee [who] received excellent evaluations,” the woman says she was fired on February 15, 2023, two months after reporting the alleged incident on December 8, 2022. The case claims Krafton ignored her complaints and didn’t investigate the claims against Kimball.

“These Defendants had the right, duty, ability and power to protect Plaintiff (and all females) from sex harassment, sexual assault and alcohol fueled debauchery yet nothing was done to address Kimball’s sex assault of the Plaintiff,” the lawsuit states. “Not only has the woman claimed to face financial distress from ‘leaving her without income and unemployed from full time work since [she was] suddenly fired,’ she says she has experienced ‘severe emotional distress,’ including ‘great fear, disgrace, constant concern, [and] embarrassment.’”

A Krafton Inc. representative provided the following statement to Kotaku:

We treat all allegations of improper workplace conduct with the utmost seriousness. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment on the specifics of the case.

Sexual assault and harassment have been major issues in the games industry for years, particularly at company-sponsored events. At least year’s Game Developers Conference, for example, multiple women reported unwanted advances, drink spiking, and sexual assault. Organizers of the event said they “severely condemn” such behavior, promising to work with local authorities to provide safety and security. However, conventions continue to be hotbeds for sexualized abuse.

Update, 01/26/23 5:15 p.m. ET: Added a statement from a Krafton Inc. representative.

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