Bungie’s former HR manager alleges she was wrongfully terminated after reporting racial bias at the developer
In the latest instance of a high-profile gaming studio being accused of creating a hostile working environment for employees, Bungie is now being sued for wrongful termination by a former HR manager after allegations of racial bias at the company. News of the allegations against the Destiny 2 developer comes just months after Bungie won a landmark lawsuit against a racist Destiny player who harassed the company’s employees and their families.
Allegations of Racial Bias at Bungie
Ingrid Alm, who was hired by Bungie as an HR manager in 2022, is accusing the company of terminating her employment after she recommended a supervisor receive diversity training. Alm’s recommendation came after the one black employee on the supervisor’s 50-person team expressed concerns that he was being racially targeted.
Alm claims that she faced “hostility and denial” from her managers at the Destiny 2 developer after issuing the recommendation. Already facing pushback for her recommendation, Alm’s lawsuit alleges that she was subject to further hostility after reaching out to Bungie’s director of equity and inclusion, Dr. Courtney Benjamin. Her supervisor retaliated against her for reaching out to Benjamin, giving her a written warning and negatively impacting her performance review. Alm’s access to work-related communication channels was cut off, and she was eventually told that her resignation had been accepted despite not submitting it.
The Lawsuit and Bungie’s Response
Bungie is now facing a lawsuit filed by Ingrid Alm, who claims she was wrongfully terminated for reporting racial bias. According to the report, Bungie’s response to the lawsuit “denies almost every part of Alm’s narrative without further context.” A jury trial is set for January 22, 2024, to determine the outcome of the case.
Bungie and the Gaming Industry
Unfortunately, Bungie is not the only gaming developer to face accusations of creating a hostile work environment. Just this week, five former Ubisoft executives were arrested on charges of harassment and sexual assault. This follows the ongoing backlash faced by Activision Blizzard and its CEO, Bobby Kotick, for dismissing claims of harassment within the company.
The Future of Bungie
As the lawsuit against Bungie progresses, the gaming industry watches closely. The outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for workplace culture within game development studios. Game companies need to address allegations of racial bias and create a safe and inclusive environment for all employees.