Problems and Solutions
Some major shakeups to the Ubisoft hierarchy have been occurring these last couple weeks. Now, we’re seeing some dedication to changes come from Ubisoft’s higher ups in response to the controversy.
To the unaware, here’s what has been happening with Ubisoft these last couple of weeks. Roughly two weeks ago, it all began when Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Lead Creative Director Ashraf Ismail stepped away from the project. While some people, ourselves included, thought it was temporary, it soon became a larger issue.
Ismail has yet to return to the game. Or to return to Ubisoft at large, following the allegations set against him for impropriety and sexual misconduct. Matter of fact, he may not be returning at all.
This last week, things got a little more heated. Three major executives within Ubisoft’s hierarchy were outed and accused of sexual misconduct by several individuals. Prompting a firestorm on social media and huge backlash against the company. In turn, the execs improved nothing by not admitting to anything but choosing to leave the company. A look that landed Ubisoft in even more social backlash.
Now, today on July 22nd, it appears that Ubisoft has set some parameters in place to mitigate these issues in the future. If they ever happen, that is.
“While Ubisoft’s current performance and business prospects are stronger than ever, we nonetheless face a very serious challenge following the recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior within our Group. I am determined to make profound changes in order to improve and strengthen our corporate culture. We already have acted swiftly and firmly, announcing and introducing large-scale initiatives intended to transform our organization. Our overriding aim is ensuring that all Ubisoft employees have a safe and inclusive workplace environment. As a leader in our industry, we have to be intransigent in order to create an exemplary culture where everyone feels respected and valued. This is vital to ensure that all of the talented people who make up Ubisoft feel fulfilled in their jobs.”
words will only take Ubisoft so far
Of course, words will only take Ubisoft so far. Luckily, if you thought that they had no game plan, they also revealed the following measures they are taking place to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Firstly, they will be conducting investigations that will be administered by individual, independent parties that have no bias towards Ubisoft. Third party consultants will be present to receive reports and relay information to Ubisoft’s board of directors. Hopefully eliminating any pre-dispensations toward a professional bias.
Secondly, Guillemot (Ubisoft’s CEO) will personally oversee that the first step is implemented and that regular reports are received.
Thirdly, HR will be receiving much more information and become more closely tied with development teams and more. Team leader bonuses will also be partially dependent on HR reports that indicate their ability to build a positive workplace environment.
Fourthly, Ubisoft has launched a company wide anonymous questionnaire to get the ball rolling. In order to assuage if there is any immediately pressing issues, or bad apples, already in the mix.
Fifthly, and lastly, a Head of Workplace Culture and a Head of Diversity role have been created. The hiring of which, can be external and unrelated to Ubisoft. This hiring will be personally overseen by Guillemot as well.
Time Will Tell
Overall, some positive changes may be on the horizon for Ubisoft, provided that they are implemented correctly. Something that is important to note: Inclusion, oversight and stronger moral focus are never intrinsically bad. But, if they are just thrown into an already toxic mix with no game plan, all that happens is a worse mix.
As long as Ubisoft and Guillemot institute these plans correctly, Ubisoft will be just fine!