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Ubisoft Demotes But Doesn't Fire Skull and Bones Director Accused of Sexual Harassment

That's not justice.

Ubisoft’s Me Too moment continues, as Hugues Ricour, managing director over the company’s pirate simulator Skull and Bones, is being removed from his position after an investigation into workplace misconduct.

News of this comes from a report from Kotaku, which says Ricour is no longer managing director of Ubisoft Singapore.

“Effective immediately, Hugues Ricour is no longer Managing Director of Ubisoft Singapore,” read an email from Ubisoft chief studios operating officer, Virginie Haas, acquired by Kotaku. “The results of the leadership audit that was conducted in the last few weeks by our external partners makes it impossible for him to continue in this position.”

However, in a statement issued to Kotaku by the company following publication of its initial report, a Ubisoft spokesman said that Ricour would still be part of the company, just not at the Singapore studio.

“We can confirm that Hugues Ricour is both stepping down from his role as MD and also leaving the Singapore studio, but will remain at Ubisoft,” the statement said.

Reports of Ricour’s misconduct accusations were first reported by Gamasutra, which said that he’d been accused of sexual harassment, and retaliated against those that spoke up.

[via Gamasutra]

Ricour would regularly target women, making suggestive and inappropriate comments about their clothing during office hours, or encouraging them to kiss him at work events. I’m told those involved in these incidents were visibly uncomfortable, but that Ricour’s unprofessional and harmful behavior persisted nonetheless. Those who questioned his actions claimed Ricour retaliated by using his influence to make their work life miserable, and while a formal harassment complaint was never filed against the managing director, HR were reportedly aware of the issue.

According to Kotaku’s sources, Ubisoft Singapore will be holding a town hall meeting with employees to discuss Ricour’s removal and the future of Skull and Bones.

In other Ubisoft news:

It’s hard to feel great about the development when Ricour is still employed at the company, even if he is being removed from the environment he made so toxic. Now he’s free to continue making employees’ lives miserable wherever Ubisoft decides to move him to, and assuming he’s given a leadership role, he can use that same lopsided power dynamic to hurt others again. This doesn’t feel like a victory for the people at Ubisoft trying to make things better at the company, it feels like a concession to let someone who abused their power face the bare minimum of consequences. Makes you wonder what would have happened with Rayman creator Michel Ancel had he opted to stay at the company during his investigation of workplace abuse rather than leaving once it began.

Ubisoft has been going through several controversies over the past year, as reports of workplace misconduct and internal struggles surrounding development of games like Assassin’s Creed have come to light. When pressed to address these during its usual marketing spiel, the company did its best to push it as far away from all its sick trailers and shit.

About the Author

Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.