A gaggle of present and former Ubisoft staff has responded to the corporate’s appointment of a brand new chief artistic officer, urging him and the corporate to supply a “significant response” to Ubisoft’s tradition of “systemic discrimination, harassment, and bullying.”
The statement was issued by worker group A Higher Ubisoft in response to the announcement right now that Igor Manceau would succeed Serge Hascoët as the corporate’s chief artistic officer, following allegations Hascoët had been a key propagator of poisonous firm tradition.
Manceau, who has been with Ubisoft since 1998, has beforehand held a number of management roles in Ubisoft advertising and marketing, engaged on franchises resembling Far Cry, Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell. In 2014 he labored as artistic director on Steep and adopted up in the identical position on Riders Republic.
Nevertheless, as the worker group factors out, Manceau’s appointment doesn’t seem like consistent with CEO Yves Guillemot’s guarantees to overtake the corporate’s editorial crew. As Guillemot wrote in a letter to staff upon Hascoet’s departure:
“I’ll tackle the CCO position quickly as we work to outline and arrange the management of the Editorial Division. Throughout this time, I will even personally oversee an entire overhaul of the best way wherein this crew works. My aim is to create an inclusive and open tradition that embraces extra numerous and multidisciplinary experience.”
In its response, A Higher Ubisoft factors out that “There isn’t any clear expression of the artistic course of, and there’s a surprising lack of range within the VPs.” The group factors out that whereas Bio Jade Adam Granger’s appointment as VP of editorial earlier this yr was a step in the appropriate path, “not a lot progress has been made past that.”
“At present, because it stands, the artistic crew at Ubisoft consists of white people who find themselves of uniform cultural backgrounds.”
The letter concludes that this leaves the worker group with a “insecurity” within the editorial crew’s future, noting that Patrick Plourde stays VP of editorial “regardless of the a number of misconduct reviews filed in opposition to him” and Hascoët’s “former right-hand particular person” remains to be concerned within the recruitment of high-level positions on the firm.
Ubisoft’s editorial crew has traditionally held a considerable amount of artistic energy on the firm. It is liable for advising on parts of all the corporate’s video games together with design, story, and extra, and previous to 2020 was largely liable for a “cohesive imaginative and prescient” throughout Ubisoft titles.
Nevertheless, a 2020 restructuring made an try at diversifying energy on the editorial crew to higher differentiate its video games, although its highly effective affect on the portfolio remained.
Manceau’s appointment to stated crew comes over a yr after Ubisoft was on the heart of quite a few reviews of a poisonous work tradition, harassment, abuse, and discrimination, which resulted in quite a few firm leaders being fired or in any other case parting methods following investigations.
Nevertheless, earlier this yr, 1,000 present and former Ubisoft staff signed an open letter in solidarity with staff at Activision-Blizzard present process their very own cultural reckoning, demanding that the corporate take additional motion. The group on the time acknowledged that over a yr later, it “had seen nothing greater than a yr of form phrases, empty guarantees, and an incapability or unwillingness to take away recognized offenders.”
Rebekah Valentine is a information reporter for IGN. You could find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.