French gaming studio Bloomylight Studio had a really fascinating looking project on the horizon called Lynn and the Spirits of Inao. We covered the game here at one point on One Angry Gamer because it looked like something inspired by the great Studio Ghibli. Well, the project has been canceled over the discovery that the studio allegedly had been skirting France’s intern hiring laws in order to get work done on Lynn and the Spirits of Inao without paying the workers.
A Reddit thread compiles a lot of the information together and the timeline of events, but the gist of the story is that there are some individuals claiming to be former interns who worked for Bloomylight Studio as unpaid interns on the Lynn and the Spirits of Inao Kickstarter project.
In the comment section of the Lynn and the Spirits of Inao Kickstarter page, there is a translation from Jim Jourdane of a comment from one of the intern artists named Emeline Laurent, who posted on Bloomylight’s Facebook page, where Laurent explained….
“I was part of the interns of the studio. I’m extremely frustrated because we wanted a dialogue that was cut short and made us just go for the big crooks. We did not want the fall of the project, but a little gratitude and apologies. If he had done nothing wrong, the project would not have been canceled this way. But this is not the case. And he still not apologized for his mistakes.”
Laurent claims there were around 20 interns and that they had been working there between four and five months. After the French media caught wind of Lynn and the Spirits of Inao, the CEO of Bloomylight took to Kickstarter to post up a message after canceling the project, writing…
“After being deeply affected by the various stories from the past few days, and conscious of the mistakes from the past which are now harming the game, we have taken the difficult decision to end the adventure here. In the face of the violent declarations made to us and the threats uttered against members of the team, we now have to end this project that was born in 2011. It is regrettable that a handful of individuals were able to destroy the work of so many people and that they spent so much energy to cause a relentlessness of incredible violence against our team.”
The Facebook page for the company was also taken down.
The Syndicate of National Video Games, a French advocacy organization for interns and students, commented about the debacle involving Bloomylight, with Reddit user Claude Dante translating a statement made on their official website, where they mentioned…
“The SNJV has begun to redact an Internship and Interns Charter aiming to firmly establish the rules allowing for intelligent, respectful, and lawful collaboration between Interns, Studios and Schools. This work in progress will be put in place for the 2016 School Year. The recent news concerning the supposed methods used by a studio and largely discussed on social media do not reflect the practices put in place by our industry in France.”
Unfortunately this is the end of the road for Lynn and the Spirits of Inao. According to the interns there wasn’t actually a game, just some art assets that the intern animators and artists put together. So it sounds as if the project was designed to be a scam from the start, because you can’t have a great looking game without actual gameplay mechanics.