Steve Gaynor, the controversial co-founder of Fullbright, the studio behind the critically acclaimed games, Gone Home and Tacoma, has revealed that he is now working as a solo developer after accusations of toxic workplace behavior.
Controversy Surrounding Steve Gaynor
In August 2021, Gaynor came under fire after an exodus of 15 Fullbright staff was partially blamed on his behavior towards fellow workers. Polygon reported that Gaynor was controlling, and that staff, particularly women, frequently felt undermined, demeaned, disparaged, and discredited. After the accusations came to light, Gaynor publicly acknowledged his hurtful leadership style towards Fullbright staff, announced that he would be stepping back from the day-to-day development of Fullbright’s latest game, Open Roads, and vacating his role as the studio’s creative lead and manager.
Fullbright Studio Now a Solo Outfit
Two years on, Gaynor has shared an update via the Fullbright newsletter, revealing that the studio is now effectively a solo outfit. Gaynor wrote in the update that his strengths do not lie with attempting to manage a large project or direct the work of others. He expressed regret for letting his unhappiness in that higher-level role affect his behavior towards people at the studio, and announced that he has been working on a new Fullbright game as a solo developer for the last year.
Open Roads No Longer a Fullbright Production
Gaynor added that Fullbright would no longer be representing Open Roads publicly going forward. The Annapurna Interactive-published title, a narrative adventure following a mother and daughter as they explore long-abandoned family properties, will now be credited to “The Open Roads Team” at launch. It remains unclear if the Open Roads team will continue to operate and develop future titles together as its own entity.
Future Prospects for Fullbright
While Fullbright’s future remains uncertain, Gaynor expressed his hopes for continuing the self-reflective work of the last couple of years and moving forward with a sense of humility, taking Fullbright down a new path that he hopes will result in positive and productive next steps.
There’s no release date yet for Open Roads, but it’s currently expected to launch for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC later this year. Fans of Fullbright will undoubtedly be looking forward to seeing what the studio’s solo efforts will bring, while keeping a watchful eye on its former co-founder’s future endeavors.
Based on the provided content, here are some potential FAQs and their corresponding answers:
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Steve Gaynor?Steve Gaynor is a video game developer and co-founder of the independent game development studio Fullbright. He has worked on games such as Gone Home and Tacoma.
What is Fullbright?Fullbright is an independent video game development studio founded in 2012. They are known for their narrative-driven games such as Gone Home and Tacoma.
What is Open Roads?Open Roads is an upcoming video game developed by Fullbright and published by Annapurna Interactive. It is a narrative adventure game following a mother and daughter as they explore long-abandoned family properties.
What were the accusations against Steve Gaynor?Steve Gaynor was accused of toxic workplace behavior by former Fullbright employees in August 2021. An investigation by Polygon claimed that Gaynor was “controlling” and that staff, particularly women, frequently felt “undermined and demeaned”, disparaged, and discredited.
Will Steve Gaynor still be involved in Open Roads?No, Steve Gaynor will no longer be involved in Open Roads. The game will now be credited to “The Open Roads Team” at launch, and Gaynor has stated that he has been working on a new Fullbright game as a solo developer.