Publisher Nicalis has come under fire this week, as Kotaku has published a report detailing how they ghosted Enter the Gungeon's creator David Crooks, who had reportedly agreed with Nicalis to publish the PS4 port for the game.
"There was some light correspondence about helping them to get it to compile, then we never heard anything else back regarding the arrangement," Crooks told Kotaku. "I believe that Devolver prodded them a couple of times, but we never heard anything back. Due to the lack of communication, we were forced to move on, and found another partner to help us with the port."
Four external developers were contacted by Kotaku, as well as seven former Nicalis employees, and many other stories of ghosting game out.
On top of this, founder and president Tyrone Rodriguez is also under the spotlight in this report, as former employees said he made racist jokes, and pressured them to drink. Kotaku also shared Skype logs of Rodriguez making antisemitic remarks, using ableist slurs, and making racist jokes.
"Developing and publishing games is a dream for the staff of nearly 20 that work at Nicalis, Inc. 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," Nicalis' statement on the matter reads.
"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."
"Regarding the companies under mutual NDA with Nicalis, Devolver (publisher of Enter the Gungeon) and The Game Bakers (developer of Furi), we can only comment that we do not have any signed publishing agreements with them and never have."
The Binding of Isaac creator Edmund McMillen has worked with Nicalis for ports and remakes, but when Kotaku reached out, he clarified that "I won't be moving forward with Nicalis when it comes to the port of The Legend of Bum-bo or any console versions of Mewgenics."
"[Binding of Isaac: Repentance] will still be releasing as originally planned, the team poured their heart and soul into this DLC and it's very close to releasing."
Developers who have worked with Rodriguez said in the same report that they were afraid to speak out because of his power in the indie games space.
"The level of control he has over his employees is definitely a problem," one former employee said. "It was, 'Anything I tell you to do, you have to do this, because I'm the boss.'"