Ubisoft has been in a bit of an ethical pickle of late. The game developer was forced to terminate a large number of senior staff members due to reports of rampant misconduct earlier this year.
The company has been in damage control mode for several months now, going as far as to terminate the employment of Ismail Ashraf, the director of the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, while the game was still in development.
Recently, the company published results from an internal survey that polled employees about their experiences working with the French game developer.
The anonymous survey, which was given to 14,000 Ubisoft employees revealed that 20% of Ubisoft team members do not feel “fully respected or safe in the work environment.” On top of that, a whopping 25% of staff members have witnessed or experienced misconduct in the workplace in the last two years alone
It was also revealed that women and non-binary employees either witnessed more or were more likely to have experienced harassment than their male co-workers.
Ubisoft brought in a third-party firm to conduct the survey in an attempt to get to the bottom of the string of sexism, racism, and sexual harassment claims that slammed the company this summer.
One of the Ubisoft higher-ups to be ousted as a result of these allegations was Serge Hascoet, the chief creative officer of the company. Hascoet oversaw all of the company’s games from a creative perspective, heading up the Ubisoft editorial team.
Yannis Mallat, the MD of Ubisoft’s Canadian studio was also terminated, alongside the global head of HR, Cecile Cornet, and creative director Maxime Beland.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has been forced to pick up the pieces in recent weeks, appearing via YouTube before the September edition of Ubisoft forward. He addressed the studio’s fans in a four minute long message, promising on behalf of the company to do better in the future.
“I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt,” he said. “We are at the start of a long journey. Real change will take time. But I am determined to do everything in my power to ensure everyone at Ubisoft feels welcome, respected, and safe. And to rebuild the trust our teams, fans, and players have in us.”
He stated that he was truly sorry to everyone who was hurt by “certain Ubisoft employees,” who “did not uphold our company’s values.”
When the survey results were released, Guillemot said that the company has created a new anonymous harassment reporting system and is in the process of updating its code of conduct. Additionally, Ubisoft is moving forward with compulsory company-wide anti-sexism and anti-harassment training.