Last week, Eurogamer reported on issues at the heart of veteran British games publisher Team17, which has recently been attempting to handle the fall out from its cancelled NFT project. The report, which includes interviews with many Team17 staffers, exposed poor pay and accusations of sexual harassment, and also highlighted the questionable management of Group CEO Debbie Bestwick.
It has now been reported that Team17 CEO Michael Pattison held a company-wide 'virtual meeting' with staff last Friday that lasted for around 20 minutes. Details of what was discussed in this meeting have been communicated to our friends at Eurogamer, and it seems that former PlayStation man Pattison is focused on fixing things:
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.
Pattison also added that "an extensive review of how we build a business that better supports its employees" will be undertaken, and that Team17 had to "take a good, long, hard look at itself and what it wants its culture to be, and how it will build towards that, and protect it". A review of pay levels was also promised, and how the company handles bonuses will also be reviewed, following complaints that they were slashed last year even though Team17 posted bumper profits.
The high volume of titles being published by the company was also addressed:
We're struggling. 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. 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.
On the topic of sexual harassment, Pattison claimed that the studio had a zero-tolerance policy, but was open to the fact that improvements needed to be made. "We need to create a safe space where people can bring things to our attention," he said.
Interestingly, Pattison only very briefly touched upon the topic of NFTs, which was arguably the catalyst for the original Eurogamer report. He did say, however, that the much-maligned MetaWorms project was "totally outside of the principles and values we have as a company," which makes you wonder how it got as far as it did without being challenged.
Pattison also neglected to discuss the management of Team17 owner and Group CEO Debbie Bestwick.