Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot suggests sexual misconduct arose from 'generational differences'

In a recent interview, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot suggested that some of the company's problems emerged due to 'generational differences' with the new, younger generation having 'different needs'.

Ubisoft
2

Ubisoft, along with companies like Activision Blizzard, has been in quite a bit of hot water over the years as reports of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment — among other problems and issues — have arisen. Digging deeper into Ubisoft’s problems and how the company has been addressing them in a recent interview with Axios, CEO Yves Guillemot went so far as to suggest that some of these issues, including the aforementioned reports of sexual misconduct, came about as a result of “generational differences.”

Adding to this, he notes that the new, younger generation have come into the company with “different needs” than that of the previous generation of employees at Ubisoft.

“The company was running and there were ways things were done. And then there was a new young generation, coming [into the company] with different needs. And we had to adapt. I think we didn't adapt fast enough to what people expected and needed,” Guillemot told Axios.

It’s a baffling statement to say the least, as you’d think the previous generation of Ubisoft employees would be equally opposed to issues such as workplace sexual harassment and misconduct. And while that statement has left people scratching their head, Guillemot also mentioned in the Axios interview that Ubisoft has solved the problems that have rattled its reputation. However, many employees, including those involved in the worker collective A Better Ubisoft, disagree and point out that progress thus far has been “minimal.”

“I think we are a very good company and we had problems, we solved them and the goal is to be again the best place,” said Guillemot.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot headshot with his hands folded in front of him.
© Time | Florent Schmidt

Back in February of this year, members of A Better Ubisoft remarked on how 200 days had passed since the group signed its open letter to the company with four key demands for reform, and that none of these demands had been met or engaged with by management. Additionally, earlier this month, AC Sisterhood interviewed several members of A Better Ubisoft about “ongoing toxicity and abuse” inside Ubisoft.

That interview once again touches on how A Better Ubisoft has yet to receive a response to its demands, and how reform thus far has been minimal at best.

“A reporting system for abuse was introduced. Some abusers were fired, some were allowed to quietly step down, and some took early retirement. But others were retained, moved to new roles and different studios. Some were even promoted. A handful of HR leaders were replaced and a new D&I department was created, but some individuals directly responsible for dismissing complaints and protecting abusers over many years remain in post today,” one employee told AC Sisterhood.

“The changes have been minimal from my perspective. A lot of talk and not much walk. Management implemented a ’sixth attribute’ called ‘Be a Role Model’ as part of our annual performance review process. Its intention is to encourage positive behavior by encouraging employees to speak up when they spot something going wrong. However, this relies on a fundamental shift in the power dynamic between those in charge and those who see them behaving poorly,” another employee told AC Sisterhood.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot on a black background giving a speech.
© Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

Overall, it sounds like Ubisoft still has work left to do, not just in regards to its workplace environment, but in how it addresses these subjects as well. Of course, we’re curious to hear your thoughts on the matter. What do you think of Guillemot’s recent statements in his interview with Axios? Let us know in Chatty!

For more on Ubisoft, be sure to read through some of our previous coverage as well including Ubisoft dialing back its NFT push, and Tencent recently increasing its investment stake in Ubisoft parent company Guillemot Brothers Limited to 49.9 percent.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola