It has been two years since a Ubisoft workplace sexual misconduct settlement led to this numerous departures, resignations and layoffs. Now one of the identified persons has reappeared. Ashraf Ismail, previously creative director of the hit Assassin’s Creed ValhallaHe now works at competitor Tencent. axios reports.
More specifically, Ismail works for TiMi Studio Group, the Chinese conglomerate’s mobile games juggernaut, as a “consulting creative director,” a representative confirmed axios. TiMi is responsible for Pokemon Unitemobile adaptations of call of Duty and PUBG, and a variety of other games. The company also opened an office in Montreal last year to develop an “ambitious, multi-platform, AAA service-oriented open-world game.”
“During our work with Ash, he has conducted himself in a professional manner and has always shown an eagerness to learn and grow both as a team member and as an individual,” said a spokesperson for TiMi Studio Group kotaku in an opinion. “We are committed to providing a safe and respectful work environment for everyone and will continue to do so as our team grows and expands.”
Ismail did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ismail began work on the Assassin’s Creed franchise 2009 with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. After that he was game director origins before being promoted to creative director Valhalla. Before his release, he helped establish the series’ pivot into open-world RPGs. His name was eventually removed Valhalla‘s credits.
Continue reading: Ubisoft employees have raised “concerns” over allegations of misconduct
That’s because He was fired from Ubisoft in August 2020 after being investigated for misconduct, although the company never disclosed details of its findings. Earlier this summer, the veteran developer was accused of exploiting his status and lying about not being married to exploit women who were relatively new to the gaming industry. It soon gave way to a series of allegations against other employees of the company, which eventually culminated in this high-profile resignations of several key executives.
Despite initial purges and HR audits, some current and former employees say the company stopped short to completely overhaul their workplace culture. In 2021, the consortium will become A Better Ubisoft called the management give him a place in reviewing cases of wrongdoing and helping the company to improve.
Hundreds signed an open letter, but a year later they say management has yet to respond to their demands. For the one year anniversary of the letter, the group tweeted today that 25% of the employees signed it have since left the company and that among them there were a disproportionately large number of women. A recent employee who signed the letter called the trend “very concerning”.
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“I can’t say anything more about ABU’s demands or management’s response to them because there was nothing,” said the person, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the press kotaku. “No attempt to reach them, no new measures to counter them.”
Ubisoft has defended itself against allegations of attrition in the past, saying they’re within industry standard rates. But last fall, the company implemented unprecedented pay rises at its Montreal studio to try to discourage talent from leaving the company. While people left for all sorts of reasons the employee flight has impacted Ubisoft’s game releases.
“The total number of employees has remained fairly constant because Ubi is still able to hire a lot of junior staff,” argued the current employee. “But the huge loss of all that experience and knowledge has clearly hit our productivity very hard and we’re now seeing new delays and canceled games.”
Ubisoft confirmed some of these delays and cancellations during his last earnings call. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora won’t arrive in time for the new movie, and a new unannounced mini-Assassin’s Creed Game is also behind schedule. In the meantime, Frontline of Ghost Recon was one of the numerous projects recently added to the can. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot also urged employees in a recent company-wide email to cut spending to “bare minimums” ahead of a potential recession.
Ubisoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
https://kotaku.com/assassin-s-creed-valhalla-pokemon-unite-tencent-ubisoft-1849344618 Fired Assassin’s Creed director now works for Tencent