Last year a culture of mismanagement, sexual harassment, and racism across Ubisoft and its many studios was exposed, leading to multiple executives leaving the company, multiple promises of reform, and developers trying to rally public support even as Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot claimed in a June 2022 earnings report that the company had “best-in-class governance,” hired more women in leadership roles, and promised “ambitious plans to continue building a more diverse and inclusive organization.”
As of this week, devs at Ubisoft are still stumping for change. Multiple reports from developers in both private emails and in public talks claim that recent diversity training has merely taught managers to say the right things as opposed to actually attempt to reform themselves, while others call attention to a lack of transparency and an interview with proto-union A Better Ubisoft claims that there’s been “a lot of talk and not much walk,” with the group accusing Ubisoft of keeping individuals directly responsible for dismissing complaints and protecting abusers over many years within the company.
“All the recent additional harassment, abuse and D&I training has taught managers is how to say the right things (or at least not say the wrong things) and appear to act correctly,” says one employee, “But in my experience much of the change is superficial.”
An earlier interview with Guillemot seems to suggest that things are on the up-and-up: While he admits that the company “stumbled” and fixing the problem has been a two-year focus for him, he also says in the interview that Ubisoft is “a very good company” and that “[it] solved [harassment issues] and the goal is to be again the best place.”
He also suggests that a generation gap is partially to blame for the spike in harassment claims: “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,” he’s quoted as saying.