Following their statement of intent yesterday, Ubisoft have placed a number of employees on administrative leave while they investigate the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct that have been made public over the past week.
The two most high-profile cases are those of VP Editorial & Creative Services Tommy François and VP Editorial Maxime Béland, both of whom have had numerous allegations made against them.
In response for a request for comment by Bloomberg, Ubisoft spokeswoman Stephanie Magnier said, “These are under investigation, so we are not commenting further at this time.” François and Béland did not respond to similar requests.
The swift actions are being taken alongside hiring an external team to help investigate the specific claims being made, while also reconsidering the company’s internal policies when dealing with allegations of misconduct. A theme running through the allegations made at Ubisoft is that, when complaints were made to HR or management, they were dismissed and brushed away.
Ubisoft’s public statement reads:
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.
The wave of allegations have already 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, but these are being treated as a personal matter in comparison to the others that linger over the company.
This all comes as part of a wave of #MeToo allegations made in the last few days, as people speak out about abuse across the games industry. 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.