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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director steps down, accused of sexual misconduct with fans

Ashraf Ismail is taking a leave of absence, Ubisoft says

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Ashraf Ismail Image: Eurogamer via YouTube

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail has stepped down from his role at Ubisoft following allegations of an extramarital affair and sexual misconduct with fans.

“I am stepping down from my beloved project to properly deal with the personal issues in my life,” Ismail announced in a tweet. “The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this.” His announcement comes days after accusations of affairs with younger fans.

“Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence,” a Ubisoft representative confirmed to Polygon in an email. “The development team is committed to delivering a great game in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.”

This follows a recent outpouring of stories primarily from women who are speaking out about abuse and misconduct from other prominent figures in the gaming industry. Several other Ubisoft employees have recently been accused of sexual misconduct.

“We are deeply concerned by these accusations,” Ubisoft said to Gamasutra in response to accusations of recently publicized misconduct and assault from other employees. “We take any allegations of abuse or harassment very seriously and we are looking closely into the allegations to determine next steps.”

Ismail was leading the development for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the next game in the series and the first one to release on the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. He previously served as game director for Assassin’s Creed Origins. As the name suggests, Valhalla is set in the viking era, meaning players will be able to explore southern Scandinavia and explore Norse mythology. More information about the title will likely come during Ubisoft’s E3-replacement showcase in July.

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