Brandon Boyer was recently removed from the board of directors at the non-profit organization behind Fantastic Arcade, Juegos Rancheros. GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that after receiving complaints about Boyer, the board of directors at Juegos Rancheros decided to dismiss Boyer for misconduct.
The company will be revising its safety policies and provisions to provide a “safer” environment for individuals. In a statement on the official website, Rancheros’ leadership wrote…
“The Juegos Rancheros leadership was recently made aware of several concerns regarding Brandon Boyer’s conduct in our community. As a first step toward addressing these claims, the leadership has voted unanimously to dismiss him from the Juegos Rancheros Board of Directors, effective immediately. While no final decision has been reached, we believe this is the best way forward while we continue to investigate the matter.”
The statement doesn’t acknowledge exactly what Boyer did, and GamesIndustry.biz links to an apology from Boyer, who posted his statement up on Twitter.
— Brandon Boyer (@brandonnn) April 5, 2018
In the apology statement, Boyer avoids discussing what sort of misconduct led to his dismissal, writing…
“While details of the events that have precipitated this change of leadership are rightly being kept scant and anonymous, I understand that at its heart it pertains to feelings of mistrust and intimidation held by the wider community.
“I have always endeavored to create safe and welcoming spaces for all of the events I have been involved in over the years, and I am incredibly disappointed to learn I have failed in that regard here.
“I believe that I let my handling of certain events become a deep wound that inaction would not allow to heal. It has become very clear that conflict avoidance is a personal weakness and failing, and clearly no trait of the head of an organization. I fully trust that new and more diverse leadership can help foster an even better future for the local community of artists and creators.
“To anyone hurt by any of my actions or lack thereof, for now I can only offer deep apologies and a commitment to better understand where I have failed and how to be better in the future.”
The Social Justice Warrior community did not receive the apology kindly nor with any sort of affability. Instead, there was a lot of indignation at the slow response to what they claim has been a long persisting trend of Boyer’s behavior. Audrey Moon claimed that Boyer has acted in “predatory ways” and that he used his position to retaliate against the careers of his victims.
really hoping @JUEGOSRANCHEROS can follow up to share some more explicit information and calls for safety within videogame spaces, because there are many predatory ways he has acted against victims. but now i’m at least glad something is starting to happen
— Audrey Moon ☾ (@animalphase) April 5, 2018
Someone going by the handle “overqualified lesbian” noted that Boyer’s victims have been “too scared” to come forward, and that men need to start listening to and believing the victims.
Most people, in particular women, in the indie games community have known about Brandon’s predatory behavior for years. Men, now is your chance to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to believing victims who, again, are still afraid of exposing themselves
— overqualified lesbian 😘 (@ElizSimins) April 5, 2018
The general gist of the hearsay is that Boyer was engaged in misconduct, but to what nature and what severity, this information has not been disclosed.
Brandon Boyer has a history of misconduct allegations circling around him. He was originally a member of the GameJournoPros Google group when he was the editor of GamaSutra and later the chairman of the IGF. The GameJournoPros was composed of most of the big names in the video game journalism industry, where they would help each other out, schedule events, offer each other jobs, and in some cases, craft narratives around specific people and events within the gaming industry to sway the public on certain topics.
Some of the sites included in the GJP included Polygon, Kotaku, IGN, GamesRadar, Gamasutra, The Verge, Wired, The Escapist, Joystiq, Destructoid and Ars Technica, to name a few. Eventually the GJP was exposed during #GamerGate after the media denied that they were colluding.
Boyer, at the time, ran the Indie Games Festival, known as the IGF. He was accused on multiple occasions of corruption, which even led to a short video documentary series about his ties and cronyism within the IGF, courtesy of ShortFatOtaku.
Some of the allegations centered around Boyer engaging in sexual relations with some of the individuals involved with the competitions he hosted, as well as showing favoritism toward awarding close friends during indie competitions. The big issue with this was that the competitions required competitor entry fees, and many indie developers were angered at the idea of certain people winning simply for having been friends with Boyer. In a Kotaku piece published on February 5th, 2015, Boyer denied the allegations of corruption and cronyism.
In July, 2015, Boyer stepped down as chairman of the IGF. Kelly Wallick, the creator of the Indie Megabooth, stepped in to take Boyer’s place as chairman of the IGF.
Boyer later joined Juegos Rancheros as a member of the board. However, allegations of misconduct seemed to have followed him into his new role.
I attempted to reach out to Boyer for comment, but he has me blocked on Twitter.
(Thanks for the news tip Blaugast)