Following Misconduct Allegations, Two Ubisoft Executives Have Been Suspended
Following an internal corporate investigation, Ubisoft has suspended vice presidents Tommy François and Maxime Béland–the two were responsible for overseeing worldwide development of the studio’s games. According to Bloomberg, both men face at least three claims of misconduct.
In a statement to GameSpot, a Ubisoft spokesperson wrote, “These [men] are under investigation so we are not commenting further at this time.”
Ubisoft has come under scrutiny in the past week, following a string of victims coming forward to report misconduct at the hands of the studio’s employees. Ubisoft product and brand marketing manager Andrien Gbinigie was accused of sexual assault earlier this week on June 22, which Gbinigie denied in a now-removed Medium post. This was followed by Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail leaving Ubisoft on June 24 in the wake of accusations of infidelity.
In response to these accusations, Ubisoft released a statement on June 25, stating: “We have started by launching investigations into the allegations with the support of specialized external consultants,” the studio said. “Based on the outcomes, we are fully committed to taking any and all appropriate disciplinary action. As these investigations are ongoing, we can’t comment further. We are also auditing our existing policies, processes, and systems to understand where these have broken down, and to ensure we can better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behavior.”
These recent accusations are a part of a much larger movement across the gaming space as a whole, with this past week seeing numerous victims come forward with statements of the abuse they’ve suffered at the hands of prominent individuals in the industry.
Numerous Twitch streamers have held 24-hour blackouts in response to Twitch’s passive statement and inaction following allegations of sexual assault against community members. Twitch streamer Mackenzie, who helped organize the #TwitchBlackout protest said, “We are not by any means trying to silence the survivors of sexual assault. The whole point was to talk about these issues on platforms where Twitch would not be making any money.”
Freelance writer Chris Avellone has also faced numerous accusations of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. In response, several developers who have worked with Avellone released statements. A Paradox representative said that Avellone’s work on Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 was “brief” and any content he made for the game would not be included in the final product. Techland said that it would be cutting all ties and no longer work with Avellone in regards to Dying Light 2. Gato Studio said it would be doing the same for The Waylanders.
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