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Ubisoft boss Guillemot issues apology for failing to protect staff

Ubisoft boss Guillemot issues apology for failing to protect staff

The CEO of French publishing giant Ubisoft Yves Guillemot apologised yesterday for failing to protect staff at his company.

In a video posted on Twitter just hours before the firm's latest Ubisoft Forward marketing event, the exec said that he was "truly sorry" to those who had been hurt. This also came just hours after allegations were levelled against Trackmania maker Nadeo by French website Numerama.

Guillemot's video came under fire for not being included in the aforementioned Ubisoft Forward event, with the firm saying via Twitter that this was due to "timing constraints," but said that they'd look into adding it into the video-on-demand versions of the show.

“This summer, we learned that certain Ubisoft employees did not uphold our company’s values, and that our systems failed to protect the victims of their behaviour,” Guillemot said.

“I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt. We have taken significant steps to remove or sanction those whose violated our values and code of conduct, and we are working to improve our systems and processes.”

The chief exec also vowed to invest $1m in its graduate programme in the next five years to help bring more people from minorities and underrepresented groups into the industry.

Earlier this year, a wave of allegations of sexual misconduct were made against those in the games industry. Though far from the only company affected, Ubisoft staff were named frequently. The firm brought in an external company to investigate the accusations, and Guillemot vowed to personally follow the proceedings. In a letter to staff, the exec admitted that there was "significant work" to do and that the company was making changes to its HR policy and giving managers more accountability for the well being of their reports. 

Ubisoft has so far cut a number of top-level staff, including chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, the MD of its Canadian studios Yannis Mallat and chief talent and comms officer Cécile Cornet. Maxime Béland, the firm's VP of editorial, has also been given the boot, alongside PR director Stone Chin and the creative director of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Ashraf Ismail.

French union Solidaires Informatique has said it is taking Ubisoft to court over the allegations made about its working culture, while investors took Guillemot to task over what he did and didn't know about the abuse 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 PCGamesInsider.biz. 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 GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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