Fullbright co-founder steps down amidst studio exodus

But will remain writer on troubled Open Roads.

Steve Gaynor, co-founder of Gone Home and Tacoma developer Fullbright, has stepped down as the studio's creative lead and manager.

Fullbright officially announced the change last night, ahead of a Polygon report which detailed an exodus of staff at the company "at least in part due to Gaynor's behaviour toward workers".

Gaynor will remain a writer on Open Roads, the upcoming Annapurna-published story of a mother and daughter, which will now no longer be released in 2021.

In a statement posted to Twitter today, the Open Roads team wrote that Fullbright believed in "fostering a work environment that is healthy and collaborative, where we can work with transparency, autonomy and trust.

"As such, Fullbright's co-founder Steve Gaynor has stepped back from his role as creative lead and manager, and transitioned to a role as a writer, handing off day-to-day responsibilities to the team to complete Open Roads."

Polygon's report includes claims that Gaynor was "controlling", and that staff, particularly women, frequently felt "undermined and demeaned", disparaged and discredited.

A total of 15 people have left Fullbright since 2019, the majority of whom were women. Some have now quit the industry entirely. Just six employees currently remain.

In response, Gaynor issued a statement which acknowledged his "leadership style was hurtful to people that worked at Fullbright, and for that I truly apologise.

"I'm sad to have stepped back from day-to-day development of Open Roads," Gaynor continued, "but it's been the right thing to do. The Open Roads team has my full faith and support as they bring the game to completion."

Annapurna is now acting as a mediator between Open Roads' remaining developers and Gaynor as work on the game continues.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (23)

About the author

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

News Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


You may also enjoy...

Supporters only

Supporters only | Letter from the Editor: What's with all the good reviews?

We're supposedly suffering a game drought, but we've never recommended so many games. What's going on?

Premium only | Off Topic: A brilliant podcast about 90s pop

Oli Welsh on 60 Songs That Explain the 90s.

Premium only | The Eurogamer Podcast returns! Meet the UK's first professional gamer

New host, new direction, exclusive early access for Premium supporters.

Comments (23)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch
Explore our store