Insomniac Games has been accused of practicing antitrust policies by colluding with other studios to create a severely unpleasant work environment.
Taking to Twitter earlier today, Rachel D. Mark stated that she used to work at Insomniac Games as a tools/core programmer between 2006 and 2010 where she was not only compensated significantly below others with the same responsibilities and titles, but was also “made to feel small” by her peers.
The former Insomniac Games employee further stated that when the toxic “boys club culture” became too overwhelming, adding to harassment and gaslighting, she decided to call it a day. During her exit interview, Insomniac Games allegedly pointed out a “handshake agreement” between “nearby studios” like Naughty Dog to “prevent poaching” and such. Hence, if she tried to contact Naughty Dog or any other studio for a job, Insomniac Games would be notified first.
14/ In my exit interview I was told in no uncertain terms of a “handshake agreement” between studios to “prevent poaching”. If my resume turned up at @Naughty_Dog or nearby studios, Insomniac would get a call. Intimidated out of the industry whether I was ready to leave or not.
— Rachel D. Mark (@racheldmark) June 29, 2020
Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog are both located in California. The accusations of antitrust practices like anti-poaching agreements are considered illegal in the United States. There could be a slight grey area where a single parent company may control hiring policies for all of its subsidiaries. However, the accusations against Insomniac Games are from a decade ago. The studio was only acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment last year for about $229 million.
Even more disturbing is that Rachel was not alone in making accusations against Insomniac Games. There were several others as well, all joining forces to share their personal experiences of how the studio was (or is) an incredibly unfair place to work in.