The four-minute video was posted to Ubisoft’s social media and YouTube accounts right before the company’s Ubisoft Forward presentation held yesterday (September 10). In the clip, Guillemot addressed a slew of controversies that have hit Ubisoft since June, including sexual misconduct allegations, toxic workplace behaviour, lack of representation and, most recently, the distasteful misuse of the raised fist symbol in one of its games.
“This summer, we learned that certain Ubisoft employees did not uphold our company’s values and that our systems failed to protect the victims of their behaviour. I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt,” Guillemot said at the start of the video. “We have taken significant steps to remove or sanction those who violated our values and code of conduct and we are working hard to improve our systems and processes.”
The Ubisoft head then spoke about the reports regarding Ubisoft’s lack of diversity, saying that the company is now “focused on improving diversity and inclusivity at all levels of the company. For example, we will invest $1million over the next five years in our graduate program. The focus will be on creating opportunities for under-represented groups, including women and people of colour.”
Guillemot also acknowledged the mistakes made in Ubisoft’s recent scandal, where the raised fist symbol – a symbol of the Black Power movement – was used to represent a villainous revolutionary group in the mobile game, Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad. “This kind of oversight cannot happen. We are putting into place safeguards to prevent it in the future. We condemn anyone using our games as a proxy for hate or toxicity,” he said.
He ended his apology by reiterating his commitment to “leading the change at Ubisoft”, adding that both he and the company must ensure that they “always uphold and exemplify our core values, in the company, the industry, the community and in our games”.
However, Ubisoft’s separation of the apology video from the Ubisoft Forward presentation has been condemned on Twitter, with users pointing out that not as many consumers will see the address as compared to the game presentation.
We hear you, due to timing constraints, we chose to release the video as a standalone message before our #UbiForward event, but we are working to ensure it will be available in full in the VOD versions of the show.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) September 10, 2020
Ubisoft has since responded, saying that the separation was “due to timing constraints”. It added: “We chose to release the video as a standalone message before our #UbiForward event, but we are working to ensure it will be available in full in the VOD versions of the show.”