Report: Ubisoft staff told to discuss harassment with harasser before HR

Report: Ubisoft staff told to discuss harassment with harasser before HR

The official HR policy of French publishing giant Ubisoft was for victims to talk to harassers before discussing harassment with a manager or human resources.

That's according to an HR document from 2019 sent to employees at the publisher's Canadian studios, as seen by Business Insider, which also says that anyone who witnesses harassment should talk to those involved before anyone else. Only if the bad behaviour persists should they involved HR or management.

The guidance has an example in which someone makes recurring jokes about a member of staff's outfit, with the official advice from Ubisoft HR being to discuss the fact it makes them uncomfortable "so everyone understands and respects your discomfort."

Staff were advised to talk to HR or management if they were uncomfortable with discussing it with those involved.

This follows a wave of allegations of abuse, harassment and other misconduct at Ubisoft. Top staff including chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, VP of editorial Maxime Béland and Canadian studios boss have left the company amid an investigation into the accusations, while chief talent and comms boss Cécile Cornet has also stepped down.

A Bloomberg report says that Ubisoft management has historically distrusted those coming forward about misconduct at the company.

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.