40 current and former Ubisoft employees have added to the allegations against the gaming giant, as part of an investigation from Bloomberg Businessweek. These fresh accusations add to the numerous public claims made over the past few weeks, which detail instances of sexual harassment, racism, sexism, and physical abuse,
Staff told Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier that some in the workplace would openly make “misogynist or racist comments”, and make sexual advances on female employees. The atmosphere was described to be “like a frat house.”
Three female members of staff said that Chief Creative Officer, Serge Hascoët, would frequently hold business meetings in strip clubs, which halted their careers as they felt uncomfortable attending. Hascoët was among three of the executives who left his post last week.
Serge Hascoët alleged behavior – which is also said to have included making sexual remarks about staff in meetings, and feeding unknowing colleagues cakes containing marijuana – had been known to the company for more than a decade, according to 10 members of staff.
Allegations against other prominent Ubisoft figures include instances of racist comments made about black people, and unwanted touching.
While many of those who were involved in the Bloomberg investigation did so under anonymity, others have since come out publicly with their grievances. Marie Jasmin, a UI Designer at Bethesda, who has previously worked at Ubisoft from 2008 to 2017, claimed on Twitter that plans to give female characters bigger roles in the Assassin’s Creed franchise were shut down by executives.
Further still, those who were part of this investigation claim that previous Assassin’s Creed titles, Origins and Syndicate, were meant to have much more prominent female characters, but this was stopped due to the marketing departments belief that games with a woman lead wouldn’t sell.
Last week, as part of Ubisoft’s internal investigation into the matter, three executives stepped down from their posts, and three others had left previously.
Ubisoft are yet to comment on this development, but have spoken on previous allegations against the company. In a statement, the Paris-based gaming giant said: “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.”
The statement goes on to read, “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.”