French publishing giant Ubisoft has said that the controversy surrounding some of its employees could have an impact in its ability to hire.
The firm filed its annual universal registration document – as spotted by Axios – in which it is obliged to detail risks to its business. 'Inability to attract and retain talent' rose from being a moderate risk to being a high one in this year's report.
There are a number of reasons Ubisoft gives for this, including competition with other publishers and required skillsets. But the firm also notes that "damage to the Group’s reputation and image, or to its working environment, may also impact its appeal and retention of talent," which leads on to another risk; 'Occurrence of inappropriate behavior by employees'.
Under that section, Ubisoft says that it was taken action to try and handle the situation, including mandatory training on harassment and sexism for all employees, as well as the introduction of an anonymous whistleblowing program. The company also points to the appointment of both a VP of global diversity and a new chief people officer in Raashi Sikka and Anika Grant, respectively, which it says hopefully mitigates risk. Ubisoft does admit that there is no guarantee it can stop this kind of behaviour altogether, however.
In the wake of the wave of allegations against Ubisoft staff, a number of top roles were cut. This included chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, the MD of its Canadian studios Yannis Mallat and VP of editorial Maxime Béland.
CEO Yves Guillemot has apologised for failing to protect staff that had been hurt by this abuse and misconduct. Ubisoft has been taken to court by French union Solidaires Informatique, while investors have also taken Guillemot to task over what he did and did not know about abuse at his company.
PCGamesInsider.biz has reached out to Ubisoft for comment.