Last month, the French gaming conglomerate, Ubisoft (creator of ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and ‘Far Cry’) launched a sexual harassment probe after #MeToo reared its head into their executive meetings. Ubisoft is determined to get to the bottom of claims compiling online.
Now that the $150 billion gaming giant has been called out for these Ubisoft sexual harassment claims, they have been doing some late spring cleaning.
Among the fallen was Serge Hascoet, chief creative officer and the company’s second-in-command, who resigned in the wake of the his probe. Also, among the not-so-dearly departed are Yannis Mallat, managing director of Ubisoft’s Canadian Studios and Cecile Cornet, human resources director, resigned.
Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviours are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised — and never will.CEO and CO-Founder Yves Guillemot, Released Statement
Gaming’s tawdry underworld has been exposed lately. There have been reports of famed Twitch users being bounced from the platform for behavior and others with elicit acts within the streaming community. And now, Ubisoft sexual harassment stories is knocking the entire industry on its keister.
Ubisoft is Falling Hard
Earlier in the month, when news of Ubisoft sexual harassment was reaching an apex, the company shared its “grave concerns” over these allegations. And they should seeing how they want to make a nice profit on ‘Assassins Creed: Valhalla’ and ‘Watch Dogs: Legion’ among other offerings coming out, as they shared over the weekend.
Kotaku summarized the situation like this:
Maxime Béland, one of its co-founders and, until last week, a 20-year veteran of Ubisoft, allegedly choked a female employee at a work party. Some heard it recited as a bizarre one-off. Others shared it as a warning to women at the studio to be wary of Béland.
“You’re conditioned to feel like you’re lucky to be there,” she said of her time at Ubisoft Toronto, which is just one of several Ubisoft studios named by people speaking out. “And I think, especially for women, there’s a lot of pressure to not rock the boat and to kind of be one of the guys. And it’s like, as soon as you blow the whistle, you don’t look at that as, okay, I’m setting a standard, you kinda look at that as, well, I don’t want to be the one to paint myself with a scarlet letter.”Beland’s accuser via Kotaku
Ubisoft has 18,000 employees around the world and needed to send a message, both to its team and to their customers that this kind of predatory behavior will not be tolerated. When claims of Ubisoft sexual harassment came forward, allegations came from everywhere — Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, and the United States. Also, a multitude of streamers on Twitch have been investigated (aside from the aforementioned).
So, the axe came swiftly, also placing Tommy Francois, vice president of editorial and creative services in the crosshairs and on disciplinary leave. Trying to get ahead of this Ubisoft sexual harassment issue, the Canadian gaming manufacturer has decided to address its homogenized editorial team — all white dudes — as well.
The moral of the story is this: Gamers made spend life online and behind an avatar and gamer tag, but IRL? #MeToo means gamers… #YouToo.