Assassin's Creed Valhalla creative director Ismail steps down over affair

Assassin's Creed Valhalla creative director Ismail steps down over affair

The creative director of the forthcoming Assassin's Creed Valhalla Ashraf Ismail has stepped down from the project after allegations emerged that he was having an affair.

On Sunday, June 21st, Twitch streamer Matronedea said on Twitter that the two were engaged in an on and off relationship and that Ismail had lied about being married and having a family. Matronedea had confronted the Ubisoft developer about why he was wearing a wedding ring during an interview with press, with Ismail shrugging it off as him trying to stop his parents having to field questions about "why their eldest son is not married" from their community.

As reported by Eurogamer, in a post on his now-deleted Twitter, Ismail said that he was leaving Valhalla to "properly deal with the personal issues in my life."

He continued: "The lives of my family and my own are shattered," Ismail said. "I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this.

"There are hundreds of talented, passionate people striving to build an experience for you that do not deserve to be associated with this. I wish them all the best."

Ubisoft confirmed his departure from the project, saying: "Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence. The development team is committed to delivering a great game in Assassin's Creed Valhalla."

Ismail was the creative director on the upcoming Valhalla, as well as the game director of Assassin's Creed: Origins and the single-player director for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. He's not the only member of Ubisoft staff that has faced accusations of sexual misconduct in the last few days.

"We are deeply concerned by these accusations," the publisher said in a statement.

"We take any allegations of abuse or harassment very seriously and we are looking very closely into the allegations to determine next steps."

This comes amid a wave of allegations of sexual harassment, assault and all-round shittiness against members of the games industry. Techland and Gato Studio have cut ties with Chris Avellone over accusations levelled against him

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.