Mike "MikeZ" Zaimont, the founder of Lab Zero games accused of abuse by former employees and players, has been suspended from work on a Guilty Gear update by Arc System Works.
Gamasutra learned about the suspension by way of a statement sent by Arc System Works representative Takeshi Yamanaka. The project was a GGPO rollback netcode implementation patch for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R run by a group of community developers known as Team French CaliBurst.
"Arc System Works has now agreed with Team French CaliBurst to suspend MikeZ's participation in development until he has addressed the outstanding matters."
According to Yamanaka, Zaimont had been contracted to work on the project at the request of Team French CaliBurst. This took place shortly after he laid off the remaining developers at Lab Zero Games.
Yamanaka said that Zaimont was hired on the basis he would "eventually resolve the allegations against him."
"Arc System Works has a strong policy to not condone any unlawful acts, harassment, acts of violence, or discrimination in all manners and forms," he said.
Yamanaka confirmed that Zaimont was working on the update until as recently as October 24th. Given this timing, it's unclear why Zaimont was allowed to participate in the project if his prior alleged behavior would become cause for suspension.
We asked Yamanaka about this decision in a follow-up query. He responded that "It was decided on the basis of delivering the best service to our users, and putting the users as our utmost priority. In the ultimate interest of our fans waiting for the GGPO update, we express our utmost regret that we chose to overlook certain aspects of our harassment policy."
"We have the expectation for MikeZ to resolve the allegations against him in good faith. Now that the development has came to a milestone, and with your [outreach], we thought it to be a good time for MikeZ to start working towards a resolution."
This was not the beginning of Zaimont's involvement with the GGPO implementation project. Yamanaka told Gamasutra that Zaimont had brought the project to Arc System Works' attention, and worked to establish a business relationship between the Guilty Gear developer and the community developers.
Lab Zero Games was initially acting as an intermediary between the two groups. This process was interrupted by the reports of allegations against Zaimont, and then his de facto disbanding of the company.