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Krafton, Striking Distance Sued by Former Employee for Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination

Content Warning: This piece contains some descriptions of sexual assault.

PUBG and Callisto Protocol studio owner Krafton is currently being sued in the state of California by a former Krafton employee, who alleges she was sexually assaulted at an industry event by Krafton head of business and strategy Kevin Kimball, and then fired from the company two months later after Krafton failed to investigate the event.

This comes from a complaint filed in Los Angeles county in December,
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, in which the plaintiff alleges she was working in Krafton's publishing division and attended a Striking Distance (a subsidiary of Krafton, developer of Callisto Protocol) party following The Game Awards on December 8, 2022. At the party, she claims that she suffered "egregious sex harassment and sexual assault" from Kimball at the "alcohol fueled" party. The plaintiff says she rejected Kimball's advances, but he "provided her more and more alcohol" and finally cornered her in a bathroom stall and "forced himself on the helpless Plaintiff until she was crying and finally escaped."

The plaintiff goes on to allege her repeated complaints about this behavior were ignored by Krafton for two months, before she was finally fired on February 15, 2023. She then filed claims with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for statutory violations, and was granted a "right to sue."

"Because of Plaintiff’s great fear, emotional distress, anxieties, physical symptoms, feelings of powerlessness and helplessness stemming from the physical andmental abuse, as well as lack of protection, discrimination, harassment, hostile work place, stalking, unwelcome, and tortuous conduct and conditions presented to her within her joband job duties in the work place, Plaintiff has, is and will be caused to suffer past, present and future damages and losses," the suit reads. "Plaintiff has been unable to find full time employment as her confidence, spirit, trust, interview skills with prospective new employers, etc., are crushed. She experiences great discomfort thinking of working for a new male stranger."

Kimball was formerly the global group manager for Insomniac Studios, Sucker Punch, Kojima Productions, and San Diego Studios at PlayStation from 2017 to 2020, after which he became the VP of global marketing for Striking Distance. He was promoted to head of strategy and business development in January of 2023,
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, just one month after the alleged incident occurred. He departed Krafton in September of 2023, and is currently self-employed.

The plaintiff is asking to be awarded damages, attorney's fees, and other costs of the suit.

Update 1:57pm PT: Krafton has provided IGN with the following statement:

"We treat all allegations of improper workplace conduct with the utmost seriousness. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment on the specifics of the case.”

Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].

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