Assassin’s Creed boss seems ignorant of Ubisoft’s toxic culture

The CEO of Ubisoft takes the stage at E3 2017 to introduce Mario + Rabbids.

photo: Christian Peterson (Getty Images)

in one new interview with The press, Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, seemed to say that toxicity in the games industry stems from necessary “friction” in the creative process. The implication was that it was almost inevitable. two years into a workplace invoice for sexual harassment, misconduct and intimidation of the publisher behind it Assassin’s Creed and Distant scream, it sounded deaf at best and like an endorsement of infighting between development teams at worst. When asked to clarify his remarks, Ubisoft provided kotaku with a more detailed explanation by the CEO.

“I want to make it clear, as I said before, that there is absolutely no place for toxicity at Ubisoft or in our industry,” Guillemot wrote in a statement. “Speaking of the fact that sometimes there is friction, I thought of the creative tension that is common and vital in innovative companies like ours, where people are free to challenge ideas and engage in heated but healthy debates. “

He continued:

To prevent this tension from becoming negative, or if it does, to address it, strong policies, values ​​and processes are essential. In the last two-and-[a]-Half years ago we have made great strides on this front to provide safe and great experiences for all our teams. Maintaining a healthy, respectful work environment is our top priority, and we’re pleased to say that our recent surveys give our team members peace of mind that we’re on the right track.

“Heated but healthy” gets to the heart of some of the biggest complaints from some current and former Ubisoft employees. This kotaku have spoken to often described an atmosphere in certain studios that seemed to reward bullies while excluding the less institutionally empowered people who called them. Whether it was a manager, design lead, or director, questioning them respectfully or adopting a principled stance during a team meeting could reach the deviant employee a project dismissed or postpone their careers indefinitely.

One of those thugs was supposedly Michel Ancelthe designer behind it Rayman and the original Beyond Good and Evil who was tapped to direct the sequel. According to a 2020 investigation by the French newspaper liberation, Ancel was disorganized, making impractical requests and berating employees when he didn’t like the work they were showing him. Three sources trusted Beyond Good and Evil 2‘s development at Ubisoft Montpellier believed that the claims in the report were accurate and that Ancel’s reputation as a toxic manager was well known within the company.

Do you have any advice about your time at Ubisoft and how the company is improving or not? Send us a message at tips@kotaku.com or be sure to reach me at ethanbach@protonmail.com.

Did Guillemot know? liberation reported He did so, citing a meeting in 2017 where the CEO, when confronted with complaints about Ancel, allegedly said Ancel’s fame in the gaming industry both helped public perceptions of Ubisoft but also made it difficult to close manage and it is up to employee representatives and HR to protect the people who work under him. It was only when the larger workplace was calculating that Ancel was investigated and ultimately resigned in September 2020.

in one last interview with axios, Guillemot claimed not to know anyone’s bad behavior. “You realize that things happened very close to you that you wouldn’t accept if you knew about them,” he said. “You’re upset that it could happen and that you didn’t see it.” But again, the CEO had a controversial answer as to why a culture that seemingly encouraged and protected bad actors festered under his oversight.

“We weren’t organized enough to identify and solve the problems,” he said axios. “The company was booming and there were opportunities to get things done. And then came a new young generation [into the company] with different needs. And we had to adapt. I think we didn’t adapt quickly enough to people’s expectations and needs.”

The comment, which appears to have traced a workplace bill containing allegations of sexual abuse to a generational divide, was all round ridiculed online. Guillemot has not attempted to clarify this and Ubisoft declined to comment on it today kotaku asked about the pattern of controversial proposals from the man responsible for the publisher’s cultural transformation.

https://kotaku.com/ubisoft-ceo-assassin-s-creed-far-cry-toxic-harassment-1849583341 Assassin’s Creed boss seems ignorant of Ubisoft’s toxic culture

Curtis Crabtree

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