A group of current and former Ubisoft Paris employees have called for those at Montréal to testify against the company for its lack of accountability.
Current and former Ubisoft Montréal employees are being asked to submit testimony regarding “discriminatory harassment (moral, sexual or racist)” experienced or witnessed within the studio. Ubisoft, developer and publisher of franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, has been the subject of many allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct in the last year.
Numerous high-profile Ubisoft employees have been fired after allegations of inappropriate conduct, including the former director of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. A company survey revealed in October 2020 that roughly 25% of 14,000 Ubisoft employees had witnessed or experienced some form of misconduct, and 20% said they didn’t feel respected in the workplace.
Now, a group of current and former Ubisoft Montréal employees is banding together via French union Solidaires Informatique in the hopes of taking collective legal action. A letter from the group claims there are “at least 3 managers” still at the studio despite “multiple accusations of harassment or toxic behavior.” The letter also states that there have been instances of harassment, as well as racist and sexist comments and behaviors, that were reported to the company’s Human Resources department, but have not been handled sufficiently. A report in May 2021 indicated that, despite promises of change, many of Ubisoft’s cultural issues were still largely present. The Ubisoft Montréal group, supported by a group at Ubisoft Paris, is calling on employees who have seen or experienced acts of racism, sexual harassment, or any other discriminatory behavior at the studio in the last two years to anonymously submit testimony to the group.
Given the number of stories that have surfaced on social media over the years and the increasing action against enablers and toxic leaders, it’s likely some employees will be encouraged to come forward by this group. Whether there will be legal action against Ubisoft in the future is still unknown. Of course, the company is one of the largest developers and publishers in the industry, so it likely has access to an extensive legal team. Regardless, an effort is being made to hold Ubisoft accountable, following a long string of such efforts in the past.
Given how much noise has been made thus far about the controversy, it’s likely Ubisoft’s internal culture will continue to be under a high level of scrutiny. Players are already pledging to stop supporting the company until a change has actually been made. There’s no telling if this will actually make a noteworthy dent in the acclaimed developer’s business, but with big sequels on the horizon, it won’t be long before it’s made apparent. In any case, it seems that Ubisoft’s employees still feel as though there is still a long way to go to improve the company’s culture.
Source: Solidaires Informatique/Twitter
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