Lab Zero Melts as Founder Reneges on Agreement to Depart

A House Divisible

Mike Zaimont, owner of Lab Zero Games, has backtracked on an agreement to leave the company and has instead removed its board, taking full control of the studio. Employees are leaving the studio and citing Zaimont's behavior as the reason for their departure.

What's going on at Lab Zero Games?

According to a tweet by now-former Lab Zero artist Brian Jun (tweeting as @EU03), Zaimont – who goes by Mike Z – "creates an unsafe work environment" for his employees. The Lab Zero board had originally asked Mike Z to leave the company after allegations of sexual harassment (thanks, Kotaku) were made by multiple employees earlier this year. Jun says that Mike Z "sometimes made me feel unsettled" and that he exhibited a "clear pattern of systemic abuse and a lack of empathy".

Zaimont was put on paid administrative leave and the board entered negotiations with him, but Jun says that Zaimont's demands were unrealistic. The board rejected his terms, so Zaimont reversed his decision and removed the board, as the sole owner of Lab Zero Games. According to Jun, this was never the plan for Lab Zero. The original intent was to offer employees equity shares after transferring ownership from previous co-owner Alex Ahad, who was let go for being "increasingly hostile" and hard to work with. Jun says that Zaimont is "in direct opposition to the health of the employees" and no longer has any desire to "negotiate with any sensibility".

It's not just Jun, however. Indivisible lead writer Brandon Sheffield also came forward to share his story about Lab Zero after reading Jun's account. Sheffield says he "absolutely cannot forgive or shrug off" Mike Z's inappropriate behavior. He specifically cites sexually harassing DMs sent to Twitch streamer BunnyAyu and cosplayer Carbon by Zaimont, as well as a joke made on a Twitch stream shortly after the death of George Floyd earlier this year. Sheffield says Zaimont is "going to keep making comments, which is going to keep reflecting on the studio".

What happens to Lab Zero now?

It's not entirely clear. The studio has been radio silent on Twitter since July. At that point, the team said that it was "aware" of allegations made against Zaimont and was "listening", with a full statement forthcoming. Given Zaimont's apparent coup, it's unlikely that this will be happening any time soon, at least not in the form Lab Zero may have originally intended. Zaimont himself has been similarly quiet since June. We'll bring you more on the ongoing Zaimont saga as soon as we get it.

How do you feel about Brian Jun's story? Let us know in the comments below!

War is Peace – The US Army Twitch Stream is an Ethical Problem

Ichiban raises his fist in Yakuza: Like a Dragon


Yakuza: Like A Dragon Launches On November 13th

Mata Ne, Kasuga-Chan

Indivisible, a game by Lab Zero Games that Brian Jun worked on


Lab Zero Melts as Founder Reneges on Agreement to Depart

A House Divisible

Court Room


Microsoft Files Statement In Support of Epic Against Apple

An Unreal Series of Events

Jesse Faden walking through a corridor slowly twisting into uncanny shapes


Control: Building Remedy's Shared World

It's not a lake, it's an ocean

Joe Allen's profile picture

Joseph Allen

Staff Writer

Dark Souls changed my life, and I'm here to spread the good news. I like pretty much all sorts of games, but I judge everything by its proximity to our Lord and saviour, Dark Souls.

Original Article

Spread the love
Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button