Everybody's Gone to the Rapture was an acquired taste, and it was also a nightmare for The Chinese Room's co-head Jessica Curry to make. As part of a frank and eye-opening blog post, the luminary announced that she will be stepping down from her current position, and cited illness, sour publisher relations, and sexism as the reasons for her departure.
In the message posted on the British developer's official website, Curry explains that she's been living with a degenerative disease, and suffered a particularly rough patch in the summer. "Having a progressive illness is not like cancer or a stroke or a heart attack," she said. "I am going to get worse – that's a simple fact."
However, it's not just illness that's been getting to her. "So much of the stress that I experienced was caused by what I see as the desperately toxic relationship that I was in," Curry explained, pointing to The Chinese Room's publishing arrangement with Sony. "I look back at the way that we were treated and it still makes me shake my head with disbelief."
She doesn't really delve into any other details, but strongly suggests that making the PlayStation 4 exclusive wasn't a particularly pleasurable experience. "I want to surround myself with honest, open people whom I can trust," she added. "I've heard so many people say, 'Well, this is just the way that publishers are' and 'This is just what the games industry is like'."
It's interesting because, from the outside, Sony appeared to put a lot of weight behind the game, and also seemed extremely supportive of what is, in truth, a pretty out-there project. It's hard to imagine the company attempting to change the creative vision of the title, for example, as it appeared to embrace the unusual aspects of it.
The conclusion of Curry's blog post paints a picture of personal unrest with the games industry as a whole, though. She points to sexism as one example, citing instances where she's been mistaken as fellow studio co-head – and husband – Dan Pinchbeck's personal assistant. "One magazine would only feature Dan as studio head and wouldn't include me," she sighed.
The good news is that, while Curry will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of The Chinese Room, she remains a company director, and will continue to score the studio's games. Whether the firm will be working with Sony again, though, seems unlikely on the evidence of this post. Irrespective, we'd like to wish Jessica all of the best – some of her work on Rapture really was astounding.