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Mike Zaimont, Formerly of Lab Zero, Suspended from Guilty Gear Update

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Mike Zaimont Guilty Gear

Arc System Works suspended Mike “MikeZ” Zaimont from an update he was working on for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. Gamasutra‘s Bryant Francis broke the story via direct communication with Arc System Works. Zaimont recently made racist statements and was accused of abuse, sexual harassment, and other misconduct.

On October 30, 2020, a representative from Arc System Works, Takeshi Yamanaka, confirmed Zaimont’s suspension. Team French CaliBurst originally requested Zaimont’s involvement, and Arc System Works contracted him to work on a rollback netcode patch for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. Mike Zaimont reportedly worked on the update until October 24, 2020.

Yamanaka clarified to Gamasutra:

Arc System Works has now agreed with Team French CaliBurst to suspend MikeZ’s participation in development until he has addressed the outstanding matters.

When Gamasutra asked Yamanaka further about the timing for suspending him, he told the outlet:

It was decided on the basis of delivering the best service to our users, and putting the users as our utmost priority. In the ultimate interest of our fans waiting for the GGPO update, we express our utmost regret that we chose to overlook certain aspects of our harassment policy.

We have the expectation for MikeZ to resolve the allegations against him in good faith. Now that the development has came to a milestone, and with your [outreach], we thought it to be a good time for MikeZ to start working towards a resolution.

Mass resignations took place at Lab Zero Games back at the end of August 2020. A large amount of ex-staff made public statements on Twitter that Zaimont’s misconduct was the reason for their resignations. Zaimont then fired all remaining staff and told Kotaku, “Unfortunately, Lab Zero was forced into layoffs because we were no longer able to meet our payroll obligations.” This affected Indivisible‘s post-launch DLC. Several key staff ended up forming a new studio, Future Club, shortly after leaving Lab Zero Games.

Oni Dino
Oni Dino is a Japanese-English translator, localization editor, and podcaster. He has several video game credits and regularly translates columns from Masahiro Sakurai and Shigeru Miyamoto. When not knee-deep in a JRPG and wishing games had more environmental story-telling, he's attending industry events and interviewing creative auteurs to share their stories.