Ubisoft promises a ‘structural shift’ in the wake of sexual harassment scandal

    
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Ubisoft promises a ‘structural shift’ in the wake of sexual harassment scandal

Ubisoft remains in the spotlight – the bad kind – this week following multiple accounts of abuse by multiple senior devs and execs that have now become public thanks to the courage of the victims. Earlier this week, Ubisoft had suspended two execs, Tommy François and Maxime Béland, for an investigation, as the company circulated memos about a “multidisciplinary working group” to handle sexual harassment and abuse cases going forward.

Last night, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot posted publicly the company’s plan for solving its workplace crisis; it’ll include a new Head of Diversity and Inclusion (something apparently sorely needed within the editorial team), a new Head of Workplace Culture to “create an international and diverse multidisciplinary working group within Ubisoft to support these efforts,” employee listening sessions and surveys, an audit of corporate policies, and a “series of investigations” into the specific allegations this time and going forward.

“We are not looking for a quick fix, but rather a structural shift at Ubisoft that fully aligns with our values – values that do not tolerate toxic behaviors and where everyone feels safe to speak out,” Guillemot says. “We must do everything we can to ensure no one is in these situations ever again. With this in mind, I also am putting in place a series of initiatives that will serve as a roadmap as we listen, learn, and act. I will need everyone to work together to build and implement them so that respect for others remains one of the pillars of Ubisoft’s culture.”

Source: Ubisoft via Gamasutra
Update
Ubisoft’s Maxime Béland has apparently resigned from the company following multiple allegations about his conduct toward female employees, according to a an Ubisoft statement provided to Gamasutra. An unnamed Ubisoft Toronto dev was also booted from the company.

“Maxime Beland, Vice President Editorial, has resigned from his role at Ubisoft, effective immediately,” a representative said. “Despite his resignation, we continue to investigate the allegations made against him. Additionally, effective as of yesterday, Tommy François, Vice President Editorial & Creative Services, has been placed on disciplinary leave pending the outcome of an investigation. One other individual in our Toronto studio has been terminated for engaging in behaviors that do not align with what is expected of Ubisoft employees. Other investigations are ongoing and will be conducted rigorously.”

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Stormwaltz
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zuldar

I refuse to support Blizzard after their scandal and now it seems I’ll be doing the same with Ubisoft. I strongly doubt they’ll do anything substantial to make things right.

I’m a reasonable person though so I’ll make you a deal Ubisoft, you throw in getting rid of crunch in addition to fixing the harassment problem and you can have my business again.

Leo
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Leo

It is great that this is all coming to light and companies are being made to respond. I just don’t have much faith in these big game companies. They have put profit above all else leading to things we already knew about, like crunch and unpaid overtime, that it’s hard to imagine them doing meaningful change. I do hope there are large changes of course, just prior history…

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Mr.McSleaz

As soon as the industry moves on to something else all these corps will be right back to Profits before People.

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traja

Unfortunately this is a feature and not a bug. As a publicly traded company Ubisoft is under constant pressure to increase profits. That same pressure to worry about people just isn’t there outside of unusual events such as this one. The traditional way to fix this is with a strong union.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

It only matters when they can’t hide it anymore and get caught. Worst kind of people are consumers who don’t see this as their problem. This is someones family member or best friend going through mental and physical anguish. Pray it doesn’t happen to them as well.

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Bruno Brito

Too much talk and performance for something that should be done from day one.

Let’s see what they do.

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johnd212

To be honest I don’t care what they do. These are games and I don’t care what they do as a firm to fix their problems. I have my own problems to worry about. What I don’t like is when I want to play my games and I’m bombarded with their drama.

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Bruno Brito

Jesus.

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Dug From The Earth

Again… its sad that it takes some of the worst human behavior to get corporations to shift the way they do things.

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Kanbe

And the big question is will anything actually shift or only appear to shift.