Gloomhaven, Blades in the Dark publishers break ties with tabletop CEO accused of assault
Major tabletop gaming companies, including the publishers of Gloomhaven and One Night Ultimate Werewolf, have announced that they are evaluating or terminating their relationship with accessory maker The Broken Token, following allegations against its CEO.
The Broken Token is a manufacturer of innovative board game accessories. It is most well-known for its line of wooden inserts for popular titles published by Wizards of the Coast, CMON and Fantasy Flight Games. They are highly endorsed on YouTube and recommended by Polygon. The company was founded in 2013 and has enjoyed a steady rise in popularity over the past decade.
On Aug. 18, a former employee of The Broken Token published on Medium an account of what she said is a pattern of sexual assault and abuse by the company’s CEO, Greg Spence. The tabletop gaming industry widely condemned these allegations via social media. In a public statement posted Thursday night, Spence said, “none of those accusations are true.”
]Attention: These accusations refer to sexual assault, abuse, stalking, and other crimes.
In a Medium post, Ashley Taylor, a former employee of Broken Token, claimed that Spence had romantic feelings for her. He was then rebuffed and retaliated. She claimed that Spence used many opportunities to assault her sexually and put his hands on her. Taylor stated that Spence would become increasingly abusive and angry if she didn’t allow him to do what he wanted. She also said that Taylor felt stuck and feared being fired. Her mental health began to decline.
Taylor stated that Taylor eventually caved to Taylor and began to do what he wanted to end the abuse. “I was miserable at that point. I understood the game he was playing now and had no way out.
“If I ever resisted him, my job was at stake. He wanted me to have sex with him or risk losing my job. He required me to work every hour of the day, or my job would be at risk. I had to adhere to everything I did. I had had enough, and despite constant threats, I began to fight back.”
Taylor claimed that she left Broken Token to start a new company, but Spence continued to harass Taylor at industry events.
Taylor claimed that Taylor made the accusations public because it happened to her “another woman,” which implies that other people “have been hurt [by Spence].” She added that “that is their story.” We can’t allow predators to do this.”
Spence posted a statement to the official Broken Token Twitter account and Facebook on Aug. 20 and denied Taylor’s allegations. He also mentioned Taylor’s reference to another accuser. He said, “I am now in an uncomfortable position of defending myself integrity.” “While I have complete confidence that none these accusations are true, it is a very difficult decision to make. I truly regret how this will affect my family members and The Broken Token’s amazing team members.”
Spence said that there might be more allegations. “I will consider all allegations seriously, and address them in a most straightforward, transparent way possible while giving full respect to those who made them.”
Polygon reached out to Taylor and Spence. Both refused to comment and instead referred us to their public statements.
Those in the tabletop industry seem to be taking the allegations seriously. Spence’s statement was preceded by Isaac Childres, creator of Gloomhaven and owner of publisher Cephalofair Games. He stated on Twitter that his company was reviewing its business relationship with the company. Cephalofair’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaign for Frosthaven included products from the Broken Token, a huge role-playing boardgame and was the third-most-funded Kickstarter campaign in its history…