Ubisoft’s VP of editorial resigns following assault allegations

He was initially placed on disciplinary leave late last month

Maxime Béland, a former creative director and editorial vice president at Ubisoft Toronto, has resigned from his position following a wave of assault and sexual harassment allegations against him.

A Kotaku report, which was published on Monday (July 7), detailed the allegations against Béland. Kotaku spoke to 12 current and former employees at Ubisoft Toronto, all of whom described the company’s overall workplace culture and Béland’s behaviour as one that “undervalues women’s contributions, normalizes sexism and harassment, and makes excuses for the worst offenders while complaints about them go unheeded”.

Ubisoft has now confirmed to Engadget that Béland has resigned from his position. Béland was placed on disciplinary leave late last month while investigations against him were ongoing.

“Maxime Béland, Vice President Editorial, has resigned from his role at Ubisoft, effective immediately,” the company said in a statement provided to Engadget. “Despite his resignation, we continue to investigate the allegations made against him.”

The statement also addressed the status of another high-level executive, plus a second employee, while the investigation continues. “Additionally, effective as of [Thursday], Tommy François, Vice President Editorial & Creative Services, has been placed on disciplinary leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

“One other individual in our Toronto studio has been terminated for engaging in behaviors that do not align with what is expected of Ubisoft employees. Other investigations are ongoing and will be conducted rigorously.”

The company’s statement closed with its stand on workplace misconduct: “Ubisoft will not tolerate workplace misconduct and will continue taking disciplinary actions against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination and other behaviors that infringe on our Code of Fair Conduct.”

Béland’s resignation comes after the creative director of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Ashraf Ismail, stepped down from the project following an allegation made against him regarding an extra-marital affair.

Last week, Ubisoft issued an internal letter within the company that announced a series of structural changes to combat workplace misconduct, sexual assault and abuse of any kind.

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