‘Assassin’s Creed’ director fired for misconduct lands new job at Tencent

Ashraf Ismail, who was dismissed by Ubisoft for misconduct, has resurfaced at Tencent

Ashraf Ismail, who was fired from Ubisoft for misconduct, is now working for Tencent’s TiMi Studio Group – the mobile gaming developer responsible for Pokémon Unite.

Ismail is working as a “consulting creative director” at the studio, which is one of Tencent’s biggest money-makers. TiMi Studio Group is responsible for Pokémon Unite as well as Call of Duty Mobile, Honor of Kings and Arena of Valor.

TiMi Studio Group opened a new office in Montreal last year which is staffed by several former Ubisoft Montreal workers. In a statement given to the press, TiMi had the following to say regarding Ismail’s employment with the studio (via Axios).

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Assassin's Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Origins. Credit: Ubisoft.

“During our work with Ash, he has carried himself in a professional manner and has consistently shown an eagerness to learn and grow as both a team member and person.” The studio representative then went on to say it strives to “provide a safe, respectful working environment for all.”

Ismail was fired from Ubisoft in 2020 following company-wide allegations of misconduct. Allegedly, Ismail was lying about his marital status and would prey on women who were new to the gaming industry (via Kotaku). Prior to his dismissal, Ismail was a top developer for Ubisoft on the Assassin’s Creed series, serving as the game director on Origins and the creative director on Valhalla, though his name was removed from the credits of the latter following his employment termination.

In a statement posted to Twitter in 2020, Ismail said ““I am stepping down from my beloved project to properly deal with the personal issues in my life. The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this.”

The collective action group A Better Ubisoft, made up of current and former employees of the company, signed a letter last year requesting the group  “get a seat at the table” in order to guide Ubisoft’s decision-making. According to the group, 25 per cent of the employees who signed that letter have since left Ubisoft, a disproportionate number of them women.

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In other news, two Overwatch Contenders teams refused to play their series mid-broadcast following a controversial decision by Blizzard earlier in the bracket.

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