In the wake of several employees accused of sexual misconduct in the games industry, Ubisoft is taking action to “do better” and investigate.
In the past few weeks, the games industry has witnessed a wave of victims of sexual abuse and harassment coming forward to share their stories, offer support with others affected, and to speak against those that have caused harm. A number of stories have highlighted instances of abuse and harassment across many studios, including several accusations made against employees at Ubisoft. In response to the allegations, Ubisoft has detailed its plans for taking action to address these concerns and committing to future changes to better protect its employees and others in the games industry.
Ubisoft released a statement on its official website in response to the range of accusations of sexual assault and harassment that have risen within the games industry, primarily from women. According to the studio’s statement, Ubisoft apologized to those that have been affected and addressed that the company “must do better” to create “an inclusive and safe environment for our teams, players, and communities.”
The studio explained that it has launched investigations into the allegations that have been made against several of its employees, both internally and “with the support of specialized external consultants.” As a result of the investigations, the studio has also committed that it will take “any and all appropriate disciplinary action” against employees that have been named in the accusations. Likewise, Ubisoft also stated it is auditing its “existing policies, processes, and systems to understand where these have broken down,” while also ensuring that it will enhance its resources to “better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behavior.”
An update from Ubisoft.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) June 25, 2020
Since these stories and accusations have started coming forward in the past few weeks on various social media platforms (primarily Twitter), Ubisoft has seen several of its employees named by victims of sexual abuse and harassment in the games industry. The most high-profile of these from Ubisoft has been Ashraf Ismail, the creative director of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, who was accused of sexual misconduct and participating in extramarital affairs. As a result, Ismail has stepped down from the development of the game and the studio entirely.
Several other employees from Ubisoft’s marketing and PR teams and elsewhere across its studios have also been named in some of the experiences shared by victims in the games industry. Likewise, numerous instances of sexual abuse and harassment claims have been leveraged against members of other development teams and studios, most notably including Chris Avellone, a prolific games writer who was working on titles such as Dying Light 2 and The Waylanders accused of sexual misconduct.