Jessica Curry, co-head of developer The Chinese Room who created Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, has announced her resignation via blog post on the developer’s website.
In her blog post, she outlined the three main reasons behind her decision to distance herself from the studio.
The first reason she listed was her difficulties with living with a degenerative disease. After going through a particularly rough patch right before Rapture’s release, she decided to reassess how her disease was affecting her and her loved ones.
“I thought if I kept running then I could always keep the disease just out of reach. I was so wrong,” Curry wrote in her post. “In June I got very ill. I was in LA working on the final mix of the game and I got so poorly that I genuinely thought I was going to be brought home in a coffin. It forced me to re-evaluate what the hell I was doing to myself, and more importantly the effect I was having on my husband and son.”
She then went on to her second reason for leaving: her dissatisfaction with working with a publisher. While she didn’t go into too much detail, she wrote that looking back she couldn’t believe how poorly she and her coworkers were treated by Sony.
“So much of the stress that I experienced was caused by what I see as the desperately toxic relationship that I was in. I can’t go into detail here for the reasons above but what I can say is that I look back at the way we were treated and it still makes me shake my head with disbelief,” Curry wrote. “Big business and the creation of art have always been extremely uncomfortable bedfellows and making Rapture proved to be no exception for me.”
Curry’s final reason for leaving was that she was tired of facing sexism within the game industry. She wrote about the various times her husband (who is also a co-head of The Chinese Room) Dan Pinchbeck received credit from the press and publishers alike.
“I’ve had journalists assuming I’m Dan’s PA, I have been referenced as “Dan Pinchbeck’s wife” in articles, publishers on first meeting have automatically assumed that my producer is my boss just because he’s a man, one magazine would only feature Dan as Studio Head and wouldn’t include me,” Curry wrote. “When Dan has said ‘Jess is the brains of the operation’ people have knowingly chuckled and cooed that it’s nice of a husband to be so kind about his wife. I don’t have enough paper to write down all of the indignities that I’ve faced.”
She explained that she was tired of fighting for the recognition of women’s contributions to the game industry, and that she is going to “leave it to people younger and fitter than me to carry on this crusade.”
After she outlined her reasons, Curry went on to say that she will remain as the Company Director for the Chinese Room and will continue to write music for the games the development team produces. She also will be pursuing her own independent large-scale music project with Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Curry ended the post with simple advice: do what makes you happy, and to make the best of every day you’re given.
“People often ask me (with a tinge of annoyance at times) why I’m so cheerful, silly, full of mischief, always laughing,” Curry wrote. “Well, one thing that you learn when you are degenerating (as we all are I suppose, some just more quickly than others) is to make the very best of every single day. To see the beauty, the ridiculousness, the wonder, the hope, the sadness, the sheer magnificence of the world around us. I exhort you to laugh, love and really live.”
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture received a glowing review from our editor-in-chief Dale Morgan, who praised the art direction, soundtrack, and writing.
“Mechanically sparse, it isn’t going to win everybody over, and if you’re the type of person who prefers to relax by popping off a few headshots or putting your puzzle-solving skills to work, you’re likely to wonder what all the fuss is about,” Dale wrote in his review. “But if you’re the type of gamer who enjoys immersing yourself in a setting and feeling transported to new places, then you should consider Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture an essential purchase.”