Ubisoft has reportedly placed several employees, including high-ranking executives, on administrative leave to conduct a thorough investigation after it was rocked by allegations of abuse and sexual harassment.
The games industry is currently undergoing a second major wave of misconduct allegations, with multiple men and women stepping forward to share accounts of harrowing experiences at several studios – from Ubisoft to Insomniac Games. Ubisoft was one of the hardest hit when its brand manager Andrien Gbingie was accused of emotional abuse and rape, associate public relations director Stone Chin was accused of predatory behavior, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail was accused of using his position to pursue women within the Ubisoft community while lying about his marital status (Ismail is married).
Ismail immediately stepped down after screenshots of his conversations with multiple females in the Ubisoft community confirmed his infidelity. Shortly afterwards, Ubisoft released an official statement on the matter, apologizing to fans and acknowledging that it needs to do more to tackle misconduct among its staff. Worth noting that some of the allegations levied against the studio’s staff were apparently brought to the management’s attention years ago.
According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, two of the executives under investigation are vice presidents Tommy François and Maxime Béland. Both men had at least three allegations made against them.
Although Ubisoft is unable to comment on ongoing investigations, the company promised to be transparent and has pledged to publicize the measures it’ll take to ensure “an inclusive and safe environment” for everyone. We’ve also learned that the company has hired external investigators to look into the allegations impartially.
This is a developing story. We’ll keep our readers posted.
[Source: Bloomberg, Jason Schreier (Twitter), Ubisoft]