Sexual assault claims against Fallout dev publicly withdrawn
Sexual assault claims against Chris Avellone, a writer and developer whose credits include RPG games such Fallout New Vegas and Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, as well as the Bethesda-published Prey, and upcoming shooter System Shock, was accused in 2020 of sexual assault by two women. Avellone’s accusers have now published a joint statement, publicly withdrawing the claims originally made against the game developer.
In 2020, two women claimed that they had been sexually assaulted by Chris Avellone, who also worked as a designer on RPG games Fallout 2 and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2. The following year, Avellone launched a libel suit against his accusers. Now, Avellone shares a joint statement from his accusers and himself.
“Mr. Avellone never sexually abused either of us,” the accusers write. “We have no knowledge that he has ever sexually abused any women.
“Anything we have previously said or written about Mr. Avellone to the contrary was not our intent. We wanted to support women in the industry. In so doing, our words have been misinterpreted to suggest specific allegations of misconduct that were neither expressed nor intended.
“We are passionate about the safety, security and agency of women, minorities, LGBTQIA+ persons, and every other community that has seen persecution in the video game industry. We believe Mr. Avellone shares a desire to protect and uplift those communities. We believe that he deserves a full return to the industry and support him in those endeavours.”
The statement explains that the claims against Avellone were “dismissed with prejudice, pursuant to a confidential settlement that provides for a seven-figure payment that includes the return of the attorney fee award entered against Mr. Avellone in California.”
Though the statement has been posted on Avellone’s own blog, a copy has reportedly been sent to Forbes directly from Avellone’s attorneys – Forbes’ reporter Erik Kain shares a signed copy of the statement on Twitter.
“I appreciate the willingness of [the accusers] to work with us in addressing issues within the game community, and their advocacy is to be commended and supported,” Avellone writes. “There are still many very real challenges that we face but am confident we can face them together.”
Avellone also asks “everyone to respect the privacy” of the accusers, and “use this opportunity as a means to listen to all voices in improving our culture and our communities.”
The most recent game on which Avellone has worked, a remake of the FPS System Shock, is expected to launch in May.