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"I'm committed to taking action, I won't brush over anything that was said or ignore any of the points being made."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

February 15, 2022

2 Min Read

Team17 Digital CEO Michael Pattison has pledged to take action after employees spoke out about poor working conditions at the Worms developer.

In an extensive report published by Eurogamer, Team17 staff decried the company's decision to push ahead with a controversial (and now scrapped) NFT project, and complained of low pay, long hours, and increasing workloads.

In response to the article, Pattison held a company-wide meeting to assure Team17 employees they were being heard.

As reported by Eurogamer, which spoke with staff at the meeting, Pattison announced the studio would be conducting an immediate pay review for those working in QA and sought to further distance the company from NFTs, describing them as "totally outside of the principles and values we have as a company."

"I'm committed to taking action, I won't brush over anything that was said or ignore any of the points being made. It will all be thoroughly investigated, you have my guarantee on that," commented Pattison.

The chief exec also pledged to undertake "an extensive review of how we build a business that better supports its employees," suggesting those in charge at the studio need to take a "good, long, hard look" at themselves.

There was also an acknowledgment that Team17 has perhaps mismanaged its workload, with Pattison admitting the company is "struggling" to find a balance.

"As we grow there is always going to be an increasing need to sign potentially more titles -- or refocus and sign higher quality titles with more commercial potential," he continued. "And that's my focus. I'm trying to improve that ratio, I don't want to see us on a continual treadmill of just filling the pipe."

There was reportedly no mention of the complaints levelled against Team17 boss Debbie Bestwick, who was last week accused of ignoring employee concerns, although Pattison did address the wider allegations of sexual harassment, saying the company needs to "create a safe space where people can bring things to our attention."

The through-line here is an acknowledgement from Pattison that Team17 has missed the mark when it comes to employee welfare, but while the CEO has pledged to "pull things around," only time will tell whether those words translate into meaningful action.

Check out the full report on Eurogamer for more on the situation at Team17.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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