Aeon Must Die, A Game From Sony’s State of Play, Draws Accusations of Crunch and Theft by Former Devs
A title seen in Sony's State of Play, Aeon Must Die is facing controversy from developers that say its studio forced crunch and stole IP.
The latest State of Play presentation from Sony this week, in a break from the buildup to the PS5 later this year, highlighted a number of upcoming indie and third-party titles on the horizon for PS4 and PSVR. One of the highlighted indie titles among them was Aeon Must Die, a sci-fi beat ’em up game that garnered attention for its unique style and premise. However, shortly after the game’s reveal yesterday, several former developers on the project came forward to share serious allegations against the game’s studio, Limestone Games.
Following the reveal of Aeon Must Die during Sony’s State of Play yesterday, attention for the title grew when a comment appeared on a separate upload of the game’s trailer that purported to be from several of its former developers. Specifically, this included a Dropbox link with documentation and files with claims against developer Limestone Games that the studio was forcing its developers into a hostile work environment, including “unbearable work conditions with endless crunch, harassment, abuse, corruption, and manipulation.”
Additionally, the former developers also claimed that Aeon Must Die is under IP theft, detailing that “the company and the entire IP was covertly taken from the founder.” According to information from the documents provided by the former developers, “people who have worked on every shot of this are no longer with the company holding IP rights,” and added that “some were not even paid for their work.”
All Aeon Must Die devs quit the studio this week due to crunch and lack of payments, and the trailer was outsourced to artists without contracts. @jasonschreier https://t.co/lmYLy3vRwp pic.twitter.com/ugmKsxhAHb
— doom scroller extraordinaire (@calibrono) August 6, 2020
Reports indicate that 8 members of the game’s development team resigned from the studio this past June, with a dozen current (and former) members of the team writing a confidential letter to its publisher, Focus Home Interactive, to detail the allegations and situation around the game.
In the wake of the accusations, publisher Focus Home Interactive issued a statement regarding Aeon Must Die and that the company is “carefully looking into these allegations.” It’s unclear just yet what the potential outcome may be, but Focus Home stated that it will “take all appropriate measures” once it completes an investigation into the matters.
Our statement regarding Limestone Games and Aeon Must Die!. pic.twitter.com/75ldhtp27T
— Focus Home Interactive (@FocusHome) August 7, 2020
Aeon Must Die was announced for PS4 and is aimed to release within the next year, though its release plans may be in flux depending on the outcome of its development situation with Limestone Games.