A former employee of Naughty Dog has alleged that he was sexually harassed at the studio.
David Ballard took to a series of tweets to detail the situation.
“In late 2015, I was sexually harassed at Naughty Dog by a lead. My work environment became extremely toxic afterward,” Ballard detailed. “In February 2016 I had a mental breakdown at work & Sony Playstation HR became involved. When I told them about the harassment they ended the call and fired me the next day. They cited the company was moving in a different direction and my job was no longer needed.
“They tried to silence me by offering $20,000 if I signed a letter agreeing to the termination as well as to not discuss it with anyone. I declined to sign. I have been unemployed for 17 months since. When interviewers ask why I left Naughty Dog, I say I was burned out by the crunch, ashamed to get to the root of the problem of being sexually harassed. I’m speaking out now because of the strength I’ve seen in others coming forward about their experiences in the TV/Film industry.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I will not let anyone kill my drive or love for the video game industry, my passions or life.”
Ballard worked on several Uncharted games as well as The Last of Us during his time at Naughty Dog.
Naughty Dog has responded to the allegations, saying it found no evidence of harassment.
“We have recently read on social media that an ex-employee of Naughty Dog, Dave Ballard, claims he was sexually harassed when he worked at Naughty Dog,” the developer said in a statement.
“We have not found any evidence of having received allegations from Mr. Ballard that he was harassed in any way at Naughty Dog or Sony Interactive Entertainment.
“Harassment and inappropriate conduct have no place at Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment. We have taken and always will take reports of sexual harassment and other workplace grievances very seriously. We value every single person who works at Naughty Dog and Sony interactive Entertainment. It is of utmost importance to us that we maintain a safe, productive workplace environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making games.”
We’ll update you as more is known.