TechFormer Ubisoft employees arrested. Background of bullying and harassment

Former Ubisoft employees arrested. Background of bullying and harassment

Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO
Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO
Images source: © YouTube
5:11 PM EDT, October 5, 2023

The French police have arrested five former Ubisoft employees who previously held managerial positions. This is a repercussion of the high-profile case from 2020 when information about abuses within the corporation was revealed.

In 2020, Ubisoft underwent a real earthquake. It was all due to Jason Schreier's damning article, where the author described the scale of abuses in the corporation. Bullying, harassment, physical and psychological violence, discrimination against women, business meetings in strip clubs - serious accusations were then made against the management.

The case has gained considerable publicity, and industry veterans have begun an exodus.

  • In June 2020, Ubisoft's crew was left by Ashraf Ismail (creative director AC: Valhalla)
  • In July, more veterans depart, namely Maxime Beland, Tommy Francois and Serge Hascoët - the creative director connected with Ubisoft almost from the beginning of their operations.
  • Yannis Mallat - the managing director of Ubisoft's Canadian studios - also ended cooperation in July 2020, as did Cécile Cornet, head of HR.

Now it turns out that the matter has a further continuation. Five former employees of the corporation have just been arrested by French police.

Former Ubisoft employees, including the director, have been arrested

According to the newspaper Libération, the French police have arrested a total of five former Ubisoft employees in recent days. Among those arrested are the previously mentioned Serge Hascoët and Tommy Francois. The other names are shrouded in mystery. The detainees were interrogated at one of the Paris police stations.

Systemic violence at Ubisoft?

The editorial staff of Libération contacted Maude Beckers (a lawyer representing the victims), who stated that harassment and bullying at Ubisoft has reached a disturbingly large scale. The words were used that referred to "systemic sexual violence". We still do not know the official position of Ubisoft. The press spokesman in a statement for gamesindustry.biz said that the corporation has insight into the case files.

Is Ubisoft in crisis?

Ubisoft is grappling with some form of crisis. Unsatisfactory financial results, striking workers, unfortunate statements from the CEO, restructuring, closure of several offices in EU countries (including Poland). The alleged salvation is supposed to be a dozen or so games from the Assassin's Creed series and other promising projects, such as Star Wars Outlaws or Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.

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