Over the past week, several women have accused prominent writer Chris Avellone of sexual violence and harassment. After IGN posted an interview with Avellone and Emily Grace Buck to discuss their upcoming RPG, The Waylanders, on Twitter, a user who goes by Karissa responded, "ZERO interest in anything from a man who spent so much time preying on young women (no age check), getting them drunk & taking them to hotel rooms, showing up to panels late & wasted if at all, & treating fans/fellow industry SO badly, he was blacklisted from at least 1 big con."
The next day, she further detailed her assault and other interactions with Avellone in a thread, and stated, "Chris Avellone is an abusive, abrasive, conniving sexual predator. People tried to get him help. He refused it and continued. Stop glorifying him." Jacqui Collins of Riot Games also shared an exchange of text messages between herself and Avellone where he made an unprompted, sexually graphic proposition to Collins.
Avellone acknowledged Karissa's allegations, and responded to one of her tweets, saying "Then talk to me? I never meant any harm to you or Jackie, and I had thought things between us had ended well all up until seeing you off. That said, if I can't do anything to apologize for it, I understand, and there's nothing more to be done."
In response, multiple studios have cut ties with Avellone. Waylanders developer, Gato Salvaje, announced that Avellone's contract with their studio had expired, and Buck, the game's lead writer, stated she would be personally reviewing his scenes. Paradox Interactive, publisher of the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, commented that none of Avellone's contributions remain in the game. Techland, developers behind the anticipated Dying Light 2, made a statement that they had decided to "end [their] cooperation" with Avellone, their lead narrative designer.
At RPGFan, we take matters of injustice with our utmost care and commitment. That commitment is to making the videogame community inclusive and welcoming. We support those who state that they have experienced harm. RPGFan will continue to follow this story and provide any updates integral to accountability.
In addition, here is a list of resources that can be helpful for those who are or have been the victims of sexual violence and harassment. Thank you to Twitter user @CelesMeh for this list.