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Assassin's Creed Valhalla Creative Director fired following Ubisoft internal investigation

Following various allegations of misconduct and an investigation following, Ashraf Ismail's employment at Ubisoft has been terminated.


Back in June, Assassin’s Creed Creative Director Ashraf Ismail stepped down from his role on the game. Ismail had been caught in extensive allegations claiming that he had lied about being married to engage in sexual relations elsewhere. Despite stepping down, Ismail was still quietly employed at Ubisoft. That has apparently changed today as Ubisoft revealed that Ashraf Ismail has officially been fired following an internal investigation.

Reports of Ashraf Ismail’s official firing at Ubisoft were confirmed on August 14, 2020 in postings by Bloomberg. According to Bloomberg, Ubisoft not only sent out an email to staff informing of Ismail’s official firing, but also allegedly confirmed directly to Bloomberg that Ismail was no longer an employee at the company. Allegations against Ismail came out of a wave of victims of toxic and sexual assault and harassment in the gaming industry coming forth to share their stories. The original story reported in June was that Ismail had lied about being married in order to engage in a sexual relationship with a fan during his travels in the industry. Ashraf Ismail could not be reached for comment following the firing.

With its Director gone, it remains to be seen how big of an effect this will have on Assassin's Creed Valhalla as we await its launch this coming holiday in 2020.
With its Director gone, it remains to be seen how big of an effect this will have on Assassin's Creed Valhalla as we await its launch this coming holiday in 2020.

Ashraf Ismail had worked on Assassin’s Creed games for around a decade, directing previous franchise titles Origins and Black Flag, but his firing from Ubisoft is the latest in a line of several major firings at the company. Notably, after Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët was forced to exit Ubisoft, it was revealed little by little just how much toxicity and stifling control he had during his employment, breeding a “women don’t sell” sentiment that affected games like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Assassin’s Creed Origins, and pushing Dragon Age designer Mike Laidlaw to leave the company amid the canceling of a King Arthur RPG. Vice President of Editorial & Creative Services Tommy Francois was also fired from the company recently after being placed on administrative leave for sexual harassment allegations.

With Ubisoft still cleaning house in the wake of so many accusations, and so many major names within the company going along with it, it remains to be seen what affects it will have on the company’s projects and ongoing business. Stay tuned to Shacknews for further news and updates on the situation.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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