Justin Roiland’s game studio reportedly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit in 2019

Eleni Thomas
Justin Roiland sexual harassmentSquanch Games

New reports claim that Squanch Games – the game studio that Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland co-founded – once settled a sexual harassment lawsuit case in 2019 after an employee reported inappropriate behavior in the workplace. This comes days after Roiland was linked to a domestic battery case of his own.

Last week, it was revealed that the Rick and Morty co-creator has been charged with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury as well as one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, and/or deceit. 

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With the story still currently evolving as the investigation continues, the history of Justin Roiland’s game studio Squanch Games when handling sexual harassment allegations is now coming into question. A new report claimed that the studio once covered up a sexual harassment lawsuit made by a former employer back in 2019.

According to court documents discussed in a recent Kotaku post, the lawsuit was reportedly filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in August 2018. The lawsuit in question was filed on behalf of former Squanch Games designer Sarah Doukakos.

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Squanch Games faced a sexual harassment lawsuit back in 2019

Justin Roiland sexual harassmentSquanch Games
High on Life is the latest game to be developed by the Rick and Morty creator.

Doukakos had alleged in the lawsuit that she was sexually harassed and belittled by the then technical director Jess Dixon. The documents then go on to allege that – despite Doukakos reporting the issue multiple times to her managers including co-founder Tanya Watson – the inappropriate behavior was never addressed.

Instead, the lawsuit claims that Doukakos was consequently fired for poor performance and then pressured by Watson into signing a liability release as part of her severance package from the company. The two parties eventually settled in September 2019 after an extensive investigation. 

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While Dixon or Doukakos are yet to comment on the situation, Squanch Games did provide an emailed comment to Kotaku. The game studio stated how “Squanch Games is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive work environment for our team,” adding that, “we don’t publicly disclose personnel matters, and we stand by the decision we made in 2017, not to reveal the confidential information as it relates to this case.”

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the situation when more information is revealed.

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About The Author

Eleni is a Melbourne-based journalist. Having completed her Bachelor's in communication (Journalism) at RMIT University, Eleni now writes for Dexerto full-time. A big Nintendo fan (with a Triforce tattoo to prove it) and a lover of the zombie genre, Eleni covers gaming, entertainment as well as TV and movies for the site. She is also passionate about covering Queer and female representation. Contact Eleni at eleni.thomas@dexerto.com