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Report: Funomena will close by the end of the month

Update: Studio leadership says Funomena's future hinges on current fundraising efforts. Without them, the studio will be "forced to close."

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

March 29, 2022

2 Min Read
The logo for Funomena

Funomena, the game studio led by Robin Hunicke, is reportedly set to shut down by the end of March.

This report comes from People Make Games reporter Chris Bratt, who broke the allegations about alleged abusive behavior perpetrated by Hunicke at the company and at UC Santa Cruz. 

In Bratt's original reporting, multiple current and former Funomena employees described a toxic work environment where Hunicke would allegedly use personal details to criticize or demean employees. Said personal details were also allegedly shared inappropriately with other employees.

In response to the allegations, Hunicke tweeted out a statement several days after People Make Games' video went live. "Leadership is a journey, and often a difficult one," she wrote. 

"It saddens me to know people are hurting from mistakes I’ve made. I am truly sorry. Right now I’m taking time to talk to people, focus on the feedback everyone is sharing, and figure out next steps."

Bratt is reporting that contractors for the studio have already been laid off, and that this announcement "has caught many employees by surprise." 

Update: The question of Funomena's status has taken a confusing turn. The studio has tweeted out a statement saying that it had begun seeking a new round of investment right before GDC 2022, and if the fundraising did not complete, it would be forced to close the studio.

This came right after several Funomena employees began to tweet about needing new jobs.

"Funomena was in the process of closing an investment round just before GDC, & we are still actively working to do so. Last week we let everyone know that if we do not successfully finish the fundraise, we will be forced to close the studio," the studio wrote.

The studio then followed up with two more tweets, the second of which was either inviting people to apply for the studio, or...contact the studio about work for hire opportunities. It's very unclear. 

As the statement goes: "Our team is talented and passionate - If you have any opportunities please reach out to us at [email protected]"

This is a developing story. We have reached out to Funomena for comment on this story, and will update it when the company responds.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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