It’s no secret that Ubisoft has floundered in the wake of many issues both inside and outside the company in 2020. Internal issues of harassment and toxicity have followed the publisher and developer through much of the previous season. Investigation and firings have taken place, but it hasn’t kept Ubisoft from further questionable decisions. With that in mind, and ahead of the Ubisoft Forward presentation today, CEO Yves Guillemot posted a message on Ubisoft channels attempting to address multiple matters at the company, including COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.
Ubisoft posted Yves Guillemot’s message on its Twitter channel on September 10, 2020. Topics of the video address included addressing the recent sexual harassment and toxicity uncovered within Ubisoft, leading to several high-profile firings, as well as the extremely controversial use of Black Lives Matter imagery to portray a terrorist group in Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad. Guillemot spoke, at last, to COVID-19, laying out the difficulties experienced by teams at the company, as well as the effort going into working past it. Guillemot concluded in saying he would be continuing to lead a change at Ubisoft for the better.
For what it’s worth, Guillemot’s address came with a couple substantial promises for improvement. The first was a 5-year $1,000,000 expansion of Ubisoft’s graduate program to help nurture diversity, talent, and ideas openly within the company. The second was the promise of an additional of donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to aid and support BLM causes.
Guillemot seems to understand that the road forward for Ubisoft isn’t an easy or short one, arguably an understatement to say the least. Even so, Guillemot and Ubisoft seem invested in working through the mistakes that have been made and doing right by the staff and community wronged by its recent decisions.
It’s noteworthy that this was a statement detached from the actual September Ubisoft Forward presentation, a decision apparently made due to time constraints, but Ubisoft has promised it will be included in VOD versions of the showcase posted to its YouTube and other channels. All the way, be sure to stay tuned as we anticipate major new announcements and reveals about Ubisoft’s ongoing and upcoming gaming projects.