Another major name in the gaming industry is under fire amid the ongoing conversations of sexual and mental abuse and toxicity in the gaming industry. Recently, longtime Assassin’s Creed lead and Valhalla Creative Director Ashraf Ismail stepped down from leadership of the latest AC game due to accusations of a sexual affair with a fan and infidelity to a wife and family.
The accusations against Ismail came to light on June 21, 2020 when, on Twitter, Twitch streamer Matronedea posted images of conversations they had had with Ismail. According to Matrondea, they had been in a relationship with the creative director when they took notice of a wedding ring he apparently wore in an interview. Ismail allegedly explained that the ring was so he did not have to answer to his parents on a marital matters, but Matrondea’s accusations claim that she has since confirmed with at least three sources that Ismail indeed has a wife and even children, a fact Ismail apparently also admitted to according to PC Gamer, though he would make his Twitter private soon after answering to the accusations.
This person is married. When he starts a relationship with you, know he's married. This is why he doesn't want to talk on the phone or facetime or have things sent to his home. His marriage has been confirmed by 3 people. I was with him for a year on and off before finding out. pic.twitter.com/eomqLCXZTu— ✨dani porter bridges✨ (@matronedea) June 21, 2020
In Ismail’s response to the allegations, he reportedly issued an apology to his family and anyone else hurt in the matter before stepping down from his position on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and working to distance himself from the team and the project in further tweets.
"There are hundreds of talented, passionate people striving to build an experience for you that do not deserve to be associated with this," Ismail apparently wrote. "I wish them all the best."
Ubisoft would go on to confirm that Ashraf Ismail had taken a leave of absence, but would not elaborate any further on the accusations or situation.
Accusations against the likes of Ashraf Ismail have come in a wave over the course of the last week or so. Following accusations of sexual misconduct, the CEO of OPG stepped down from the company. Several groups including Techland also cut ties with industry regular Chris Avellone amid accusations of drunk and abusive sexual encounters. Mixer shut down and Cards Against Humanity also had a co-founder step down amid abusive and toxic workplaces. As accusations and the consequences of them continue to come out in the industry, here’s hoping that those who need to tell their stories and be heard are heard and industry becomes a better, safer place for it.
As we await the fate of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, stay tuned to Shacknews for information and details in the wake of Ashraf Ismail's exit from the project.
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