With increasing volume, the gaming industry has recently seen victims of sexual or toxic abuse come forward and speak out about their experiences and the people who took advantage of them. Perhaps one of the more high-profile among these was accusations of an affair and sexual misconduct fielded against Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s former creative director Ashraf Ismail, who exited the project and blacked out his social media when the allegations came to light. Ubisoft has finally made a formal statement on the overall situation, promising to lodge investigations with the help of external forces and audit internal company policies.
Ubisoft made their formal address over the allegations of sexual and toxic misconduct against staff in a website statement on June 25, 2020. In the address, Ubisoft did not formally bring up the situation with Ismail or any other specific allegations, but nonetheless announced its initiative in response to the matter.
“We want to start by apologizing to everyone affected by this,” Ubisoft wrote. “We are truly sorry. We are dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe environment for our teams, players, and communities. It is clear we have fallen short of this in the past. We must do better.”
To that end, Ubisoft aims to begin investigations into the matter and is committing to a review of its internal policies to build an overall better and safer workplace for its employees.
“We have started by launching investigations into the allegations with the support of specialized external consultants,” Ubisoft continued. “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.”
With the shutdown of Mixer due in part to severe racial toxicity, several partners dropping projects with Chris Avellone over aggressive sexual abuse, and this latest step down of Valhalla’s creative director, it’s increasingly difficult to argue that the gaming industry doesn’t need cleaning out of toxic or predatory elements. As a major force in the business, hopefully Ubisoft’s actions will help create a better environment in the industry.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Ubisoft addresses sexual misconduct allegations, promises investigation & internal policy review
Yesterday when they patched AC: ORIGINS for the first time in 2 years (last PS4 patch v1.43 was May 2018) and then I heard about this scandal, I thought maybe they rushed to remove his name from the game’s credits with v 1.44 and shit was gonna hit the fan.