A new report from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier collects accounts from multiple former Rockstar Games employees who have allegedly told stories of sexual assault, frat house-like mentalities in the workplace, trips to strip clubs, alleged abuse of workers by former executive Jeronimo Barrera and more.
According to the report, employees alleged that “Barrera, one of Rockstar’s top executives, had a reputation for screaming at people, and there were rumours that he had shouted at staff who’d rubbed him the wrong way, telling them they were fired.”
A former Rockstar Games employee, Colin Bundschu, claims that Barrera groped him during a work gathering. “Barrera groped him, asked Bundschu to sit on his lap, and rubbed his inner thigh area.” According to Kotaku, “Bundschu filed a report to Rockstar’s human resources department and told at least four other people. After an HR investigation that involved speaking to Barrera and others present, and following a dispute over whether Barrera had denied the accusation or told Rockstar he didn’t remember, the company ultimately found Bundschu’s account to be unsubstantiated. A few months after that, Bundschu left Rockstar, and eventually, he exited the video game industry.”
Jeronimo Barrera denies the allegations and his attorneys say he will not speak further on the matter.
Talking to Kotaku, a Take-Two spokesperson said: “We take these matters extremely seriously. While we do not comment publicly on the specifics of individual investigations, in any case where an employee raises workplace concerns, we investigate them and take appropriate action.”
The article goes on to explain accounts from other anonymous Rockstar Games employees that are both currently working at the company and are no longer working at Rockstar.
“Current and former employees shared stories of Rockstar work trips to strip clubs. Several people described what they called a “cult”-like mentality, where employees were expected to attend social events regularly, and those who left Rockstar were shunned (a mentality encapsulated by Rockstar’s policy, confirmed by the company to Kotaku last year, that anyone who leaves before a game is shipped will not be in that game’s credits).”
“When asked about Barrera, 13 other current and former Rockstar employees shared first- or second-hand stories about his behaviour, with most using the words “abrasive” or “volatile” to describe him. All requested anonymity because they said they were scared to harm their careers or scared of retaliation from Rockstar. Some said they had seen Barrera reprimand co-workers for staying friends with ex-Rockstar colleagues on Facebook; others shared anecdotes of drunken antics and pranks gone awry. One common story, not verified firsthand by Kotaku but shared secondhand by three people, was that at a party one evening Barrera had drunkenly tackled a designer into a bush. (The designer did not respond to a request for comment.)”
The employees all referenced Barrera in their accounts. You can read the full article by Jason Schreier here.