A significant portion of former Ubisoft leadership seems to have their past catching up with them this week. It’s been years since the likes of ex-chief creative officer Serge Hascoët and VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François were ousted from the company on allegations of toxicity and sexual harassment, but French authorities recently arrested these two and several more former Ubisoft executives in relation to a sexual harassment investigation.
The arrest of the former Ubisoft executives was reported first via French newspaper Libération. According to the reports, French police moved to take the former Ubisoft executives into custody following the results of a year-long investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment at the company. Among those arrested were Serge Hascoët, who resigned from Ubisoft in 2020 amid the wave of harassment allegations against him, and Tommy François, let go by Ubisoft itself in 2020 over similar allegations. When asked for a statement by GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft could not provide further clarification at the time, claiming “Ubisoft has no knowledge of what has been shared and therefore can't comment.”
When asked to comment on the case, the lawyer to the plaintiffs, Maude Beckers, stated that it was an exceptional case of wrongdoing that seemed to have grown out of a systemic system of abuse at Ubisoft:
Indeed, even at the top of the Ubisoft company, employees and outsiders in the game industry found issue with CEO Yves Guillemot’s response to the matter. In 2022, Guillemot drew ire by suggesting that some of the sexual harassment came out of “generational differences”. He also claimed in 2021 that the company had made progress towards being a better place for its employees.
While it’s true that those arrested this week were already out of the Ubisoft company, the allegations and discoveries presented by authorities and lawyers on the case continue to paint a troubling picture of culture and complicity at Ubisoft. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.