Publisher Ubisoft says it has launched investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by its employees. In a statement released on Thursday, Ubisoft said it is dedicated to creating inclusive and safe working environments, but adds, “It is clear we have fallen short of this in the past. We must do better.”
Ubisoft says it is working with “external consultants” to investigate allegations. While the company did not name specific employees, Ubisoft confirmed on Wednesday that one high-profile staffer, Assassin’s Creed creative director Ashraf Ismail, was taking a leave of absence amid accusations of inappropriate behavior with women.
At least two other Ubisoft employees, product and brand marketing manager Andrien Gbinigie and associate public relations director Stone Chin, have also been accused of sexual harassment and “predatory behavior,” according to a report from Gamasutra. Ubisoft said it was “deeply concerned” about those accusations in a statement to Gamasutra.
Other current and former Ubisoft employees have also been accused of assault, harassment, and sexual misconduct amid a flood of allegations and revelations from victims of abuse in the gaming, esports, comics, and entertainment industries.
Ubisoft’s full statement on its plan to investigate claims of abuse by its employees follows.
Concerning recent allegations raised against certain Ubisoft team members: We want to start by apologizing to everyone affected by this — we are truly sorry. We are dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe environment for our teams, players, and communities. It is clear we have fallen short of this in the past. We must do better.
We have started by launching investigations into the allegations with the support of specialized external consultants. Based on the outcomes, we are fully committed to taking any and all appropriate disciplinary action. As these investigations are ongoing, we can’t comment further. We are also auditing our existing policies, processes, and systems to understand where these have broken down, and to ensure we can better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behavior.
We will be sharing additional measures that we are putting in place with our teams in the coming days. Our goal is to foster an environment that our employees, partners, and communities can be proud of — one that reflects our values and that is safe for everyone.
Update (5:40 p.m. EDT): Bloomberg reports that two Ubisoft executives, Tommy François and Maxime Béland, have been placed on administrative leave as part of the company’s investigation. François, vice president of editorial and creative services at Ubisoft, and Béland, vice president of editorial, were both named in accusations of misconduct on social media this week. Ubisoft provided this statement to Bloomberg about the accusations: “These are under investigation, so we are not commenting further at this time.”