Ubisoft CEO responds to staffs’ open letter demanding change in industry

The Ubisoft CEO claims important progress has been made in the past year

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has responded to an open letter signed by more than 500 current and former Ubisoft employees that not only expressed solidarity with the Activision Blizzard walkout this week (July 28) but called for industry-wide change against harassment and abusive behaviour.

The letter also criticised Ubisoft for not doing enough in the wake of allegations made against the company last year over abuse and sexual harassment.

“We have stood by and watched as you only fired the most public offenders,” the letter had read. “You let the rest either resign or worse, promoted them, moved them from studio to studio, team to team, giving them second chance after second chance with no repercussions. This cycle needs to stop.”

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In a company-wide email sent yesterday (July 29), shared by Axios’ Stephen Totilo, Guillemot wrote that he is committed to creating “real and lasting change” at Ubisoft, stressing that the leadership team had read the letter and that they “take the issues it raises seriously”.

He continued by saying that the company has made “important progress” in the past year.

“Since last summer we have implemented new anonymous reporting tools, revamped our HR processes including new global policies to prevent and manage discrimination, retaliation, harassment, installed a new code of conduct, rolled out mandatory training, established a content review group and are bringing in new leadership across major studios, HR, D&I [Diversity & Inclusion), Editorial and Production.”

Guillemot conceded that there was still more to be done. It however doesn’t address how several men who had been accused of abuse have remained in lead roles at Ubisoft, as was the case for Assassin’s Creed Infinity.

The CEO nonetheless cited initiatives like over 300 “listening sessions” with more than 1,500 Ubisoft team members, a company-wide survey, and global audit. He also promises more updates in Q3, including next steps on the Values Project, D&I, and an HR roadmap, sounding all too much phrases from a game update.

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Elsewhere, Valve has defended its 30 per cent cut of Steam sales in response to a lawsuit from developer Wolfire, alleging that its cut is the “industry standard”.

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