Jessica Curry stepping down as The Chinese Room's studio head - MCV

Jessica Curry stepping down as The Chinese Room's studio head

Curry cites health, 'toxic' publisher relationships and industry sexism as reasons for leaving role
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Jessica Curry is stepping down from her position as studio head at Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture developer The Chinese Room.

In a blog post, Curry said she is still a company director at the studio and would continue to write music for its games. She now plans to continue her work as a composer on external projects, however, and is currently working on a “large-scale” music project with Carol Ann Duffy.

Curry gave a number of reasons for her decision to step down. She said a degenerative disease has caused her to experience a “tsunami of fatigue”, which has “forced me to re-evaluate what the hell I was doing to myself”.

She also claimed that working with a publisher made her extremely unhappy and very ill.

“In the end I didn’t even recognise myself anymore – I had turned from a joyful, fun-loving, creative, silly, funny person into a short-tempered, paranoid, unhappy, negative heap,” said Curry.

“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 also spoke out about life in the game industry itself, and said she felt she was unable to “lead the charge, to prove through talent and hard work and positivity that women have a vital role to play”.

“On a personal level I look back at my huge contribution to the games that we’ve made and I have had to watch Dan [Pinchbeck] get the credit time and time again,” she said.

“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.

“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.”

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