There have been a large number of allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, assault and rape sweeping through the games industry over the past week, with a number of Ubisoft employees and studios implicated.
In response to these allegations, Ubisoft have apologised to those affected and are launching investigations into the allegations with outside support.
Concerning recent allegations raised against certain Ubisoft team members: We want to start by apologizing to everyone affected by this – we are truly sorry. We are dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe environment for our teams, players, and communities. It is clear we have fallen short of this in the past. We must do better.
We have started by launching investigations into the allegations with the support of specialized external consultants. Based on the outcomes, we are fully committed to taking any and all appropriate disciplinary action. As these investigations are ongoing, we can’t comment further. We are also auditing our existing policies, processes, and systems to understand where these have broken down, and to ensure we can better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behavior.
We will be sharing additional measures that we are putting in place with our teams in the coming days. Our goal is to foster an environment that our employees, partners, and communities can be proud of – one that reflects our values and that is safe for everyone.
These accusations have led to Assassins Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence and deal with the fallout from his alleged infidelity. However much more serious allegations linger.
Brand Marketing Manager Andriend Gbinigie was accused of rape, an account that was backed up by several women who had been similarly targeted, and those who had been made aware of such behaviour by friends and colleagues. This was reportedly brought to the attention of Ubisoft management but not followed up.
Many more allegations followed, both pointing at individuals, often in positions of power including game directors and VPs, and studios with toxic cultures.
Simply put, Ubisoft was a company that came up numerous times through the flood of allegations made in the last few days, as people speak out about abuse. A number of Twitch Partner streamers have been implicated, with the streaming platform issuing a statement that they are actively investigating the allegations, while several game companies have distanced themselves from games writer Chris Avellone, and Insomniac Games issued a statement regarding allegations of a culture of sexual harassment within the studio.
Ubisoft’s statement and action is a clear step forward, especially in regard to working with an external company to investigate the claims.