Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot apologized to “everyone who was hurt” by the Ubisoft scandal. Workplace abuses have damaged the studio’s public perception.
Ahead of the recent Ubisoft Forward event, the company posted a video of CEO Yves Guillemot. In the video, he apologized for the internal issues at the company. He also promised that Ubisoft would improve on how it treats its people in the future.
Guillemot sorry for execs’ behavior
Guillemot’s apology refers to the recent Ubisoft scandal. During the period, many top-ranking Ubisoft execs subjected employees to a toxic workplace. Accusations of sexual abuse, discrimination, and misconduct ran rampant.
During this period, Ubisoft axed many of its ranking officials. Chief among these people was Serge Hascoet, the studio’s Chief Creative Officer. During another expose, female employees detailed everything they have experienced under him.
Other notable removals included Yannis Mallat and Global HR head Cecile Cornet. Ubisoft VP Maxime Beland also stepped down, together with Ashraf Ismail.
“I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt. 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,” Guillemot detailed in the video.
“We are also focused on improving diversity and inclusivity at all levels of the company. For example, we will invest $1 million 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 color.”
Guillemot additionally apologized for using the raised fist symbol to represent evil characters in Elite Squad. The emblem is currently under use for revolutions and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“This kind of oversight cannot happen,” Guillemot said further. “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. We fully support the Black Lives Matter movement, and today we are making an additional donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.”
Ubisoft criticized for timing of video
Ubisoft has become the center of one of the ugliest spotlights in the games industry. The systemic sexual harassment from top to bottom became a flaw in the studio’s reputation. Yves Guillemot was able to dodge responsibility for such.
“I am fully committed to leading the change at Ubisoft, and to ensuring we always uphold and exemplify our core values, in the company, the industry, the community, and in our games,” Guillemot said.
The timing of the video is earning criticism across social media so far. People say they felt the company is trying to sneak the video past their online show. Ubisoft replied, citing time constraints as the issue.
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
Regardless, Yves Guillemot and his message will have VODs in the upcoming releases. Doing so will allow people to see the message consistently. With Ubisoft launching new IPs left and right, they need all the goodwill they can get.
Featured image courtesy of Ubisoft North America/YouTube Screenshot