Designer Chris Avellone accused of sexual assault and harassment

Several studios are cutting ties with video game designer and writer Chris Avellone after allegations surfaced on Twitter that claimed he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women.

Dying Light 2 developer Techland has terminated its relationship with Avellone and Bloodlines 2 publisher Paradox Interactive says none of the content he produced will be used in the game.

One accuser alleged Avellone had gotten her drunk, taken her back to her room with two other people, and then “pounced” on her. The accuser said she had seen him do the same thing to other girls and heard stories of the practice for years.

“The actions I witnessed myself occurred between 2013 and 2015,” she wrote. “Those I was told by friends who remained around him occurred up until 2017 or 2018. This was recent. Who knows how long it had been occurring before then.

“Chris Avellone is an abusive, abrasive, conniving sexual predator,” she continued. “People tried to get him help. He refused it and continued. Stop glorifying him.”

On Twitter, Avellone acknowledged the accusations.

“I should have been better, and I apologize,” he said, adding that one relationship “ended badly, yes.”

“Was it a bad relationship, I hope not, I didn’t feel that way, but that’s only my perspective, and should not be considered the truth,” he wrote.

Avellone has been a presence in the video game industry for decades. He’s best known for his work as a designer and writer on Planescape: Torment, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2, and Fallout: New Vegas. Lately, as a freelancer, he has served as a writer on RPGs including Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Techland, upon learning and looking into the accusations, issued a statement Monday afternoon saying Avellone was no longer working on Dying Light 2.

“We take matters of sexual harassment and disrespect with utmost care, and have no tolerance for such behaviors —  it applies to both our employees as well as external consultants, Chris among them,” the developer said. “This is why, together with Chris Avellone, we’ve decided to end our cooperation.”

Gato Studios, where Avellone contributed to The Walanders, said his work was a small part of the game had already been completed and would now be revisited.

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