What you need to know
- Several Ubisoft executives and directors have been accused of abusive behavior over the last few weeks.
- Several of these staff have been fired or departed Ubisoft as a result.
- According to a new report from Gamasutra, several other directors and staff have been complicit in or caused abusive behavior and misconduct.
Ubisoft has been the subject of many allegations over the last several weeks, with reports of sexual misconduct and abusive behavior from executives. Ubisoft has taken some steps to address these allegations, outlining a plan for reform, firing Tommy Francois, the editorial vice president at Ubisoft who has been accused of sexual misconduct, as well as firing Ashraf Ismail, the creative director of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, accused of infidelity and misconduct. Ubisoft also announced the departure of multiple other executives, including the chief creative officer.
A new report from Gamasutra is shedding even further light on the situation. Over a dozen former and current Ubisoft employees from Ubisoft Singapore, Ubisoft Montreal, and Ubisoft Quebec spoke with Gamasutra about how Ubisoft has a culture of abuse, aiming to protect abusers with a lack of support for victims from HR departments.
Among the examples given is Assassin's Creed Odyssey creative director Jonathan Dumont. Dumont is accused of being narcissistic and yelling at staff until they are crying, using homophobic and misogynistic commentary. When staff went to management with complaints, no solutions were offered. Hugo Giard and Stephane Mehay, a quest director and associate producer at Ubisoft Quebec respectively, are accused of similar abusive behavior.
Several staff at Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Singapore, such as Ubisoft Singapore managing director Hugues Ricour, are reported to have sexually harassed colleagues. Justin Farren, the former director on Skull & Bones, reportedly bragged about only having sexual relations with Asian women to work associates during office hours.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated during the company's Q1 results call that "It has now become clear that certain individuals betrayed the trust I placed in them." Anonymous Ubisoft employees who spoke with Gamasutra state this is not the case and that Guillemot personally blocked the ousting of abusive employees in the past.
We'll have to see what other steps Ubisoft takes — and if employees report major changes in workplace culture — in the upcoming months.