Five former members of Ubisoft staff have been detained and questioned in the wake of an investigation into harassment at the company.
As reported by French newspaper Libération, a number of former executives have been held in police custody, including Serge Hascoët and Tommy François, who were previously the firm's chief creative officer, and editorial and creative services boss respectively.
Both were fired from Ubisoft in the summer of 2020 in the wake of some damning accusations about the company's toxic working culture and widespread incidences of harassment and assault.
"The case is very particular because beyond simple individual behaviour, it reveals systemic sexual violence," the plaintiffs' lawyer Maude Beckers is quoted as saying, via Google Translate.
"I've been doing this job for twenty-two years, this is the first time I've seen such substantial work [by the judicial police] on denunciations of this nature. In most cases of aggression and harassment, it is a person sometimes covered by their superior, it is not as established as it was at Ubisoft. To the point that we feel like it had become something necessary for creativity. The company seems to have transformed into a big playground for creative people, where what they call a 'schoolboy atmosphere' was tolerated, where we play tag and cock, where we indulge in sexual gestures. At work, where in the evening women find themselves pinned to the ground or against the walls. HR knew all this and systematically suppressed business. What is exceptional in this matter is the complicity of the company's white-collar workers."
PCGamesInsider.biz has reached out to Ubisoft for comment.
Disclaimer: Alex Calvin is a freelance writer and journalist who has worked with Ubisoft in the past.