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Seven game developers accuse indie publisher Nicalis of exploitation

Nicalis, an indie developer and publisher best known for games like The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth and Cave Story+, are at the center of a new report alleging mistreatment of its employees and partners. Speaking today with Kotaku, seven developers with links to the indie house have come forward with grievances against the company’s founder and president Tyrone Rodriguez, citing racism, abuse, and exploitation.

In chat logs provided to Kotaku by its anonymous sources, Rodriguez is shown to use racist, homophobic, and ableist language. According to one former employee, the publisher had no HR department and complaints would need to be taken up directly with its CEO.

In another allegation, employees were admonished by Rodriguez for taking time off to attend doctor appointments or visit sick relatives. Some also allege that Nicalis removed the names of a number of former employees from the credits of projects they had worked on, after they had departed from the company. But these aren’t the full extent of allegations against the company’s president. Read the Kotaku report for a complete breakdown.

Edmund McMillen, a developer behind a number of the publisher’s better known titles – from The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth to The End Is Nigh – has now announced he’ll no longer be working with Nicalis in the future.

“Developing and publishing games is a dream for the staff of nearly 20 that work at Nicalis, Inc.,” Nicalis said in a statement responding to the report. “Some of our team have been with the company almost a decade and we work hard to create an environment where we treat our team members with respect. They are what make the company.

“We do not condone abusive workplace environments or discrimination and have people from all walks of life. We hope for the continued success of our internal team and our external developers.”

Update: Tyrone Rodriguez has since issued a statement of his own:

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