Throughout last year, Ubisoft was swimming in controversy as reports of poor workplace conditions, harassment, and discrimination within the company began to spread online. After these issues came to light, Ubisoft made a statement (although completely removed from the Ubisoft Forward presentation of all its sick new video games it wanted you to buy) saying it was making changes within the company to improve its workplace culture. That was in September. But what has the company done in the months since to make it a better place to work? According to a report from French publication Le Télégramme? Not much.
The report, as translated by GamesIndustry.biz, says employees have gotten the sense Ubisoft management wants to shake off the controversy as an uncomfortable footnote of its history. Several internal initiatives meant to help make Ubisoft a more welcoming space for women were left unaddressed by the company’s management. The same was said for attempts to have renewed harassment training required of new staff. The report says over 20,000 employees took part in a half-day training session following the initial controversy, with management undergoing a more advanced session specifically focusing on accountability.
“We perceive a desire [from management] to leave the crisis from summer 2020 behind as it represents a risk for the group’s durability,” a source told Le Télégramme. “But training must be renewed regularly and offered to new staff. For now, this request has not been addressed.”
According to Le Télégramme’s report, several new harassment cases were brought forward last year after the initial wave, but were sidelined in December. Legal proceedings regarding these cases are due to start this month, but an elected official from Ubisoft’s social and economic committee says they don’t “expect anything to come out of these appointments,” as several of the HR employees that were with the company during these harassment cases are still in the company.
That has been largely the story surrounding much of Ubisoft’s controversy last year. If someone’s causing trouble in one sector of the company, just move them elsewhere. Such as Skull and Bones Director Hugues Ricour being moved to a different position within the company rather than fired after an investigation into his workplace misconduct. Michael Ancel, the creator of Rayman, elected to leave the company when his management was under investigation.