The French video game company credited with the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed franchise is yet again under fire on social media for failing to mend the company’s toxic work culture built on sexism, misogyny, and sexual misconduct. The new Twitter wildfires were sparked after Ubisoft shared a video on the platform about its goals to improve, which flooded them with comments and retweets using the #HoldUbisoftAccountable hashtag.
The #HoldUbisoftAccountable is currently trending on Twitter after Ubisoft shared content about its goals to improve, only a week after the French publication Le Telegramme revealed that the company failed to clean its back yard of previously reported toxic work culture. The #HoldUbisoftAccountable stemmed from AsAlwaysPodcast co-host James’ tweet, who said that they wouldn’t purchase, review, or critique any Ubisoft games in the future, as long as the company keeps the people responsible for the misconduct employed.
James urged his audience to refrain from buying Ubisoft games, actively calling for the boycott of the company, unless they introduce real change, stating that even “the man at the top [Yves Guillemot] has to go.” The video gained immediate traction, with plenty of retweets spreading the hashtag like wildfires, urging the fans the publically pressure Ubisoft through boycotts. At the same time, the French union Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo seeks justice via the legal system, taking Ubisoft to court next month.
For those in need of more context, Assassin’s Creed maker came under fire last year after multiple sources accused the company of promoting a work culture based on sexism, misogyny, and sexual misconduct. The allegations shook Ubisoft to its foundations, with its CEO, Yves Guillemont, promising to address the allegations head-on and introduce real change. And his promises brought tangible results, at least initially.
According to Guillemont’s reports, gathered from an anonymous survey of nearly 14,000 employees, approximately 25% of employees working at Ubisoft have experienced or witnessed workplace misconduct. As a result of those surveys, a host of Ubisoft’s executives have been either fired or resigned en-masse, including prominent creative figures within the company. Now, one year after those allegations erupted and promises were made, newly released reports indicate that nothing changed within the company, making specific promises made by certain individuals, well, empty.
Though Ubisoft initially announced numerous initiatives to change things within the company, including mandatory anti-sexism training for their employees, the company has fallen short on those initiatives. Certain people, who were the center of the scandal, still work at the company, at reassigned positions, while others remained precisely where they were. One of the executives involved in the scandal was replaced by Guillemont’s cousin, Christophe Derennes, whose arrival sparked another wave of harassment accusations at Ubisoft, which were eventually sidelined in December last year.
At the time of writing, Ubisoft failed to renew the company’s anti-sexism training for 2021 while hiring new people who didn’t even receive any training of such kind. Are the company, and its CEO, content with keeping the situation as is, as the allegations of harassment pile up?