Technology Sexism and Rasissmus destroy one of the biggest brands

Sexism and Rasissmus destroy one of the biggest brands

# Metoo crisis destroys Ubisoft

It doesn’t look good around the inventor of Assassins Creed. Jason Schreier, former journalist with Kotaku, has the first # Metoo affair the games industry uncovered. And it is with none other than the French flagship publisher Ubisoft. The company around founders Yves guillemot has a management staff that is more active in sexism and racism than in the development of its games.

A total of 35 employees spoke about sexual assaults and racist statements by their superiors. Read the course of events so far here.

Assassin’s Creed Creative Director is starting

It all started with Ashraf Ismail, his character creative director of Assassins Creed Valhalla and the predecessors. Out of nowhere tweets suddenly appeared from a woman who accused Ismail of being in a relationship with her while he was married. And he would have always told her that he was single. This was followed by tweets from other women who had already been through the same thing. Ismail tried to contain the situation, but to no avail. He resigned with immediate effect. Subsequently, further reports of female employees at Ubisoft suddenly popped up, which allegations of attacks within Ubisoft reported.

Senior managers are fired

It followed further layoffs the top level at Ubisoft. Tommy Francois and Maxime Beland, both vice presidents and responsible for the international business of Ubisoftwere released. A number of allegations have already been made against both. François is said to have been known for unwanted massages and homophobic comments. Beland went one step further than “mere” annoyances and, in addition to outbursts of anger, even choked an employee at a party! However, these allegations never came to light, because the complaints ended up in HR, which of Béland’s wife Rima Brake was directed! She blocked the forwarding of these complaints.

The two top managers follow Yannis Mallat, the head of the Canadian studio. More colleagues should follow. Allegedly, the people were a “ring” that protected each other.

Drug cookies and strip club parties on the agenda

The biggest surprise was surely Serge Hascoët, the chief creative officer of Ubisoft. He was right next to CEO Yves guillemot. Guillemot will temporarily take over his activities. Hascoët is said to have held meetings in strip clubs, groped women and distributed hash cookies to employees without informing them about the substances. He promoted men and at the same time put pressure on his employees to drink excessive alcohol. An employee says that after one of her presentations, Hascoët played a music video after she left the meeting room, which dealt with sexual acts involving a woman of the same name. Complaints to the HR department fell on deaf ears because Hascoët enjoyed “special protection” as a friend of Guillemot. Now it is exactly him who throws him out of Ubisoft.

So it sounds understandable that the next person to be shown the door is Global Head of HR Cecile Cornet is. Many employees said that their complaints with HR always led to the same result, so you should talk to your manager about the inconvenience.

The last big blow was the termination of PR Director Stone Chin! He published one opinion, in which he admits that he was passively aggressive and disrespectful to employees, but denies sexual assault.

In other examples, employees say, for example, that they watched the trailer for “Stars Wars: The Force Awakens” and when John Boyega appeared, employees shouted “Hey, look, a monkey!”. Another employee tells of abuses and condescending statements by her manager. At HR she fell on deaf ears, only the support of a male colleague led to an exchange of her boss and a gift voucher worth $ 200.

Female roles in games should have been longer

The next bomb recently burst. Allegedly, the stories about the female characters in games would be like Assassins Creed Odyssey been more extensive. So the season would have been in Assassins Creed Syndicate to be balanced between the siblings Jacob and Evie. Jacob dominates in the final version, as does the cover of the game. In Origins Bayek’s wife Aya should have played a stronger role in the story much earlier. Ultimately, it was reduced to a few ship missions. In Odyssey no male character was planned! The game should only have been played with Kassandra.

All of these decisions should have a name behind them: Serge Hascoët. As creative director of the company, he was responsible for all games and series. He based his decisions on the fact that women as the main role in games are economically disadvantaged and would not bring any success. This is despite outstanding brands such as Tomb Raider and Horizon Zero Dawn.

Kassandra was planned as the main character in Assassin's Creed Odyssey.  Alexios was not planned!

Kassandra was planned as the main character in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Alexios was not planned!

Union announces steps against Ubisoft

The French union has now announced steps. They have one on their website action started a lawsuit against Ubisoft initiate. Victims and organizations who want to support the process should register.

What’s next with Ubisoft?

The CEO Yves guillemot already has one personal letter sent to its 16,000 employees and changes announced. So a new position will be installed, which should deal with diversity and culture and report directly to the managing director. A bonus is introduced for respectful and positive work and management of employees. Other companies do the same.

But is that really the right way? Is monetary motivation necessary to ensure that you treat your employees and colleagues respectfully and considerately? We live in 2020! How is it that people in higher positions feel that it is OK to behave towards their fellow human beings? What causes people to do this? There have been a few cases lately, including other publishers, but none on such a scale as Ubisoft. The fact that the upper floor even did this in a coordinated and mutually protective manner is hideous.

At the same time, the question arises how much knew Guillemot actually or actually not? Is it realistic that his management team performed all of these tasks and that he knew nothing about them? Can he actually take responsibility?

How strongly these events now affect the economic success of Ubisoft will have to be seen. The fact is that many of the essential people who worked on upcoming titles are no longer there, such as Ashraf Ismail or Serge Hascoët. It remains to be seen whether these developments and perhaps future lawsuits will lead to delays and delays in the planned publication dates.

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