Ubisoft is building a number of internal changes in reaction to allegations of misconduct against multiple employees, including two executives accused of groping and otherwise sexually assaulting female employees, that surfaced last week. The company has placed those employees on leave and opened investigations into the abuse — now, Ubisoft is promising to endure a “structural shift” to make a safer work environment and improve accountability.
Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot outlined the changes an email provided for employees on Thursday, which Ubisoft also shared on its blog. “The situations that some of you have experienced or witnessed are absolutely not acceptable,” said Guillemot. “No one should ever feel harassed or disrespected at work, and the types of inappropriate behavior we have recently learned about cannot and will not be tolerated.”
As part of the changes, Guillemot is appointing a head of workplace culture who’s “empowered to examine all aspects of our company’s culture and to suggest comprehensive changes that will benefit all of us,” that he said. He has placed Lidwine Sauer, Ubisoft’s director of insights and trends for the company’s Strategic Innovation Lab, in the career. She will undoubtedly be creating a taskforce around the effort and will are accountable to Guillemot. Guillemot also announced that Ubisoft will be making a new role for a head of diversity and inclusion which will report to him.
Ubisoft also will begin hosting listening sessions for employees starting on Monday. “These are not Q&A sessions or town hall meetings; the goal of these sessions is to actively and considerately listen to your experiences and concerns, as well as your suggestions for improvement,” said Guillemot. They will be moderated by external facilitators, that he said. The company can be planning to launch a global employee survey.
Guillemot reiterated that independent third parties are leading a string of investigations in reaction to allegations surfaced against Ubisoft employees, though he didn’t address any of the particular allegations, nor did that he say who or exactly how many people are now under investigation. We can say for certain that allegations were also brought contrary to the man heading up Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Ubisoft’s flagship next-gen title, who has since taken a leave of absence.
Ubisoft has additionally set up an “online confidential alert platform,” in accordance with Guillemot, that is administered by whistleblowing platform Whispli. The company can be “in the process of selecting an external consulting firm to audit and improve our procedures and policies,” said Guillemot, and he devoted to sharing the outcomes of the audit and the changes the company is likely to make when it is completed.
Guillemot’s blog comes hours after the high-profile reveal of Ubisoft’s newest game, the free-to-play battle royale shooter Hyper Scape, which skyrocketed to the most notable of the Twitch viewership charts fleetingly after its technical test went live earlier today. It also follows not merely misconduct allegations at Ubisoft, but a bigger reckoning of powerful figures in the video game industry who are being accused of abuse.