Iconoclasts' Japanese Publisher Says Devs Are "Free To Reconsider Contracts" Following Controversy
Dangen's new management seeks to do right by its developers.
Following the swift removal of Dangen Entertainment CEO Ben Judd, the Japanese indie publisher is now offering its developers the option of reconsidering their contracts with the company. Dan Stern, the current CEO of Dangen, said in a statement that "all developers will be free to reconsider contracts and decide whether or not they would like to continue forward with Dangen under its new management." According to Stern, Dangen has reached out to its developers--including those working on Devil Engine and Fight Knight--and hopes to resolve these matters as quickly as possible.
This news follows Stern stepping into Ben Judd's shoes as CEO earlier this month. Judd, who co-founded Dangen in 2017, was accused of mismanagement and sexual harassment by multiple individuals who have worked with him in the past. The allegations led to Judd stepping down as CEO, saying in a statement, "For the foreseeable future, I will be focusing on fixing some of the issues that have come to light as well as spending time with my family. They believe in me and I want to work hard to grow in a way that justifies that faith. I am truly sorry."
Regarding the studios working on Devil Engine and Fight Knight, Stern said he has "reached out to [those] developers with a clear path toward mutually agreed separation." He also specified that if any studio wishes to part ways with the publisher, all of Dangen's marketing materials will be removed from those projects, ownership of store pages will be given back to the developers, and final payments (especially to the Devil Engine team) will be resolved when invoices are received.
Dangen Entertainment is the publisher of many indie games, including 2D fighter Pocket Rumble, action-platformer Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, upcoming beat-em-up The TakeOver, and more. The company is perhaps best known for the 2018 critically acclaimed indie action-puzzler Iconoclasts, which received a 9/10 in our review.
Iconoclasts is published by Dangen specifically in Japan and, as such, serves as a regional distributor. The game is published by Bifrost Entertainment in other territories.