Over the past few weeks, Paris-based gaming firm Ubisoft in under fire from over a dozen people over public claims of sexual harassment and abuse against its employees. The wave of allegations comes in light of the broader #MeToo movement making its way through the game industry. While Ubisoft isn’t the only target of recent sexual harassment claims, it has been the most frequently flagged in the gaming industry.
Over three dozen current and former Ubisoft employees said in interviews that the claims, along with many previous incidents that haven’t surfaced in the past, have been ongoing in the company for years, according to a wide-ranging Bloomberg Business report. Ubisoft, they said, took action in some cases but ignored, mishandled, or undermined most sexual harassment complaints against its staff.
Much of the harassment claims were directed at the company’s executives, the report added.
The group’s chief creative officer, managing director of its Canadian studios and global head of human resources, resigned from their positions soon after the allegations began to surface. Product and brand marketing manager Andrien Gbinigie and associate public relations director Stone Chin were among those accused of “predatory behavior,” in a report by Gamasutra. Ubisoft responded by saying it was “deeply concerned” about the accusations.
On 3 July, the company’s CEO Yves Guillemot said Ubisoft had launched a series of investigations led by “independent third parties” into sexual misconduct at the company. Several staff departures followed, as more senior officials were let go and sent on leave citing breaches of the company’s Code of Conduct.
“This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised,” he said. Guillemot is also taking over the vacant creative leadership role in the company, promising “a complete overhaul of how the creative teams collaborate.”
In an official statement from Ubisoft on 26 June, they claimed to be “auditing…existing policies, processes, and systems to understand where these have broken down, and to ensure [it] can better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behavior.”
The company is yet to share any results of the ongoing investigation publicly.