Something is rotten in Dangen Entertainment.
And his name is Ben Judd.
This thread has a VERY HEAVY CONTENT WARNING for the following: sexual harassment, racism, sexual assault, harassment, abuse, gaslighting
tl;dr version: Ben Judd, CEO of Dangen Entertainment, steps down after numerous allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse as well as multiple reports of indie devs being swindled by Dangen. Judd, however, has still not apologized to his victims or stepped down from his other position of power at Digital Development Management and Dangen has not made good on money owed of said swindled indie developers.
A complete (as best I can tell) timeline:
It’s been an open secret for a while that Ben Judd, CEO of Dangen and former Capcom translator, has been… to put it mildly… a gross dude. On August 27th, when allegations around Alec Holowka were being brought to light, Alex (aka @dirtbagboyfren on Twitter), an artist and game designer with history in the Japanese indie scene and had worked with Judd on titles like Mighty No. 9, posted the following thread: https://twitter.com/dirtbagboyfren/status/1166544727849623552
While those allegations didn’t upend everything, they did empower others to speak out against Judd and his company. In September, the developer of Devil Engine, an indie game that was being published by Dangen, tweeted (which have since been taken down) and posted on the game’s itch.io page’s comments that they had been ghosted by the publisher and were seeing zero royalties for their game.
On November 23rd, an anonymous reddit post allegedly from another indie developer working with Dangen who is under NDA reports similarly getting hassled by Dangen.
On November 29th, a Medium post was posted by an anonymous source referred to as The Writer. The post was later taken down by Medium, but there exists an archive of the lengthy article. It contains a lot of receipts from the Devil Engine and Fight Knight developers regarding Dangen and some creepy emails Judd had sent Alex. It’s a 40+ minute read, but I encourage you to read it if you want the full picture of what’s going on. Suffice to say, it’s thorough and does not look good for Dangen or Judd.
The Medium post leads to a giant outburst of voices coming forth on twitter, including from indie developers and NB & women developers who have unfortunately worked with Ben. Included in those are voices of support for the victims from across the gaming industry, including at least one Dangen employee.
Dangen Entertainment releases a counter Medium article. It doesn’t address any of the sexual assault/harassment allegations at all and instead just tries to discredit the character of the authour of the original Medium article and nitpick. I believe It’s not really worth going through, but for posterity here is the archive.
On December 7th, Alex, facing harassment and backlash for their part in the article, released a large collection of personal information about their past relationship with Judd, detailing his abuse, harassment, gaslighting, etc. Severe CW on this one. They
had a translator associated with the story post both the english original and japanese translation: https://twitter.com/OnTakahashi/status/1204431121154363392
The next day a second Medium post is released by the anonymous developer.. The article largely outlines the shady dealings of Dangen in the days since the first article, some clarifications to address the nitpicking of Dangen, outlining more of their own dealings with Ben Judd and the Dangen staff, and just a whole heaping pile of more “Ben Judd is a massive creep” evidence.
Which leads us up to the last 24 hours, when Dangen Entertainment tweeted out that Ben Judd would be stepping down as CEO and Nayan Ramachandran would move from full time to freelance. The company would be restructuring accordingly:
This, predictably, tried to shift the spotlight off of the company to Ben while not really addressing any of the problems.