Ubisoft employees demand ‘real change’ in open letter following industry misconduct scandals

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Activision Blizzard staff are today staging a walkout in protest of working conditions at the company and over management’s “abhorrent and insulting” response to a discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the World Warcraft, Call of Duty and Candy Crush publisher last week by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

The events of the past week come a year after Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft was hit by its own wave of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination revelations, which resulted in a public apology from CEO Yves Guillemot, the departure of several senior executives, and what Ubisoft claimed were a series of meaningful structural reforms.

However, in an open letter shared with Axios in which Ubisoft employees declared solidarity with the workers of Activision Blizzard, they also criticised their own company’s handling of workplace misconduct.

“It is clear, from the frequency of these reports, that there is a widespread and deeply ingrained culture of abusive behaviour within the industry,” they wrote, before demanding that those responsible for these “heinous” acts “be held accountable for their actions”.


The letter accuses Ubisoft’s management of offering “nothing more than a year of kind words, empty promises, and an inability or unwillingness to remove know offenders”.

It reads: “We have stood by and watched as you fired only the most public offenders. You let the rest either resign or worse, promoted them, moved them from studio to studio, team to team, giving them second chance after second chance with no repercussions. This cycle needs to stop. We, the collective employees of Ubisoft, demand a seat at the table when it comes to deciding how to move forward from here.”

The letter concludes by proposing that Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard and other leading publishers and developers work together to establish an industry-wide standard for reporting these offences.

“This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives. This is essential to ensure that those who are directly affected by these behaviours are leading the change.”

In a statement issued to VGC, Ubisoft said it had “carefully read the letter” and was taking the issues raised “very seriously”. And while it claimed to have “made significant and meaningful changes” designed to improve working conditions in response to recent events, it also acknowledged “there is still more work to be done”.

Ubisoft’s full statement reads:

“We have carefully read the letter signed by former and current Ubisoft employees. We have a deep respect for the engagement of our teams who are pushing for changes within our industry. We want to be very clear that we take this letter – and the issues it raises – very seriously. Over the past year, we have committed to engaging with our employees to enact fundamental changes. Many of these changes have been driven by internal feedback and insights shared by our teams and we are grateful for this ongoing communication.

“Ubisoft has made significant and meaningful changes that seek to create a safe and inclusive work environment for all, and there is still more work to be done. We absolutely stand behind these efforts and the positive impact they have had on our company culture while also recognizing that we must continue to engage with our employees to ensure we are creating a workplace where they feel valued, supported, and most importantly, safe.”
 

CitizenZ

Banned
Ariana Grande Finger Guns GIF
 

oagboghi2

Member
Force everyone to work remote.

boom, problem solved. Can’t offend anyone if you literally can’t interact with each other.

Joking aside, what a stupid letter.
 

kiphalfton

Member
Can we seriously just have it like I had it in high school P.E., where the class was separated into males and females?

A workplace where there's no interaction at all between men and women means no sexual harassment. Boom, an imaginary first world problem had been solved.

You're welcome.

Edit:
This probably wouldn't work, as I just realized you would probably have some soyboy tattle tale go to HR, if you said anything sexist whatsoever (even if there were no females present).
 
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Hydelol

Banned
Always funny how things must happen elsewhere (or come to light) to "address" change for themselves.

Oh god just read the last paragraph. They want a collaboration between industry-leading publishers and developers? For what? Not to be dickheads at the workspace? L o L.
 
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makaveli60

Member
Oh fuck, more “politically correct” abominations like AC Odyssey. Can’t wait for the further butchering of one of my favorite franchises...
 

Unk Adams

Banned
I'm offended that Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft keep putting out substandard, glitchy formulaic releases every single year. I'm waiting on their second letter to see how they're going to handle that problem because true gamers demand change.
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
What a clusterfuck, how can we even tell what is a legitimate toxic/harrassing work environment or just modern mentalists who (due to the current progressive "cruscades") live in a super-het-up oven of social spasticism anymore?

Thanks progressive cunts, you've made the whole world shitter in so many ways. Now probably people who deserve to get pulled up for being awful humans will get away with it and people who did nothing wrong aside from offending/being noticed by the aforementioned mentalists with get fired.

Outside of legitmate evidence that people are being awful the thing we need more is better parenting, but you know... its 20-30 years too late for that! The best we can do is try to stop Gen Z from getting brainwashed by the cultists or learn how to think critically at the bare minimum.

I read these things and just can't believe what I read like (paraphrased) "They went around harrassing the females in the work place while drunk", if I was there I would kick fuck out of those guys, as would others in the office. How the hell did it go so far without people speaking up?

We just don't stand for that kind of awful bullshit where I live, "but he was a senior employee" AND?!?? Being an awful piece of shit trumps any sort of work or whatever crap, obviously its against the law for starters but thats kind of secondary to it being against the very basis for a decent modern society where women are treated fairly and aren't the possessions of men, like in some other trash societies/countries around the world.
 
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Pejo

Member
Virtue Signal™ Received. Thank you Ubi employees.

Now is not the time to focus on video games, or making them, or making good games. It's time to focus on whatever the social issues of the week are. Now THAT'S videogames.

just dance GIF
 
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Great Hair

Banned
Ubisoft will not survive the next decade. F2P crap + Ass.Creeping for the 55th time and sporadically a news-update to BGAE2.
 

Lanrutcon

Member
It's funny, we live in a world where UBI is actually not fucking up terribly of late, Blizzard is going nuclear and CDPR was caught fleecing their followers red-handed (no pun intended). What a fucking decade for gaming.

Later in the year: Nintendo release a Mario game on Steam and Devolver announce they're starting a new religion.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
How do you separate pronoun people belonging to ther other 30+ genders?
Easy.

Anytime a company memo is addressed to employees, just say:

To: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890!@#$%^&*()?

That way every combination is there for whatever acronym or pronoun someone wants. I can make one for myself right now. Try it yourself, it's fun.

IATIG!
I Am The Intergalactic God!
 
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iHaunter

Member
This is why I quit college to be a game programmer. Programmers, artists, etc. get no respect in this industry from the companies they work for.

Very few of them respect their employees.
 

oagboghi2

Member
This is why I quit college to be a game programmer. Programmers, artists, etc. get no respect in this industry from the companies they work for.

Very few of them respect their employees.
I hope you didn’t quit programming as a career. That’s still probably one of the best career fields.

also game programmers make bank.
 

CGiRanger

Banned
Thankfully Japan doesn't seem to have a problem with Woke employees.

At least for me, my game library these days is about 85%+ games from Japan. It didn't used to be that way (it might have been reversed in the 2000's). Really shows how badly Western gaming has gone downhill.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
Easy.

Anytime a company memo is addressed to employees, just say:

To: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890!@#$%^&*()?

That way every combination is there for whatever acronym or pronoun someone wants. I can make one for myself right now. Try it yourself, it's fun.

IATIG!
I Am The Intergalactic God!
What if i'm asian? DO YOU WISH TO EXCLUDE ASIAN-IDENTIFYING PEOPLE!?
 

Ballthyrm

Member
Thankfully Japan doesn't seem to have a problem with Woke employees.

At least for me, my game library these days is about 85%+ games from Japan. It didn't used to be that way (it might have been reversed in the 2000's). Really shows how badly Western gaming has gone downhill.

Japan is quite notorious for Crazy working condition and work culture.
There is a reason they have barely any children, too busy working all the time.

Enjoy the games from a quite literaly dying culture.
 

Fbh

Member
Honestly, I doubt much will change at Ubisoft unless their games sell less.
I remember last year a lot of journalists were expecting Ubisoft games to sell poorly because of their controversy. But predictably the average customer doesn't give a shit about this stuff and AC Valhalla went on to sell great.

Activision is different because they are being sued by the state.
 

mitch1971

Member
Can we seriously just have it like I had it in high school P.E., where the class was separated into males and females?

A workplace where there's no interaction at all between men and women means no sexual harassment. Boom, an imaginary first world problem had been solved.

You're welcome.
So only straight people sexually assault others?
 

Ballthyrm

Member
I think they hired way too many people and the culture of the company got away from right under them.
They are 12-13K employee I think nowayday, so they basically grabbed anything and everything.

Very hard to motivate people when they haven't made a decent game in forever.
The only example of good games from Ubisoft all came from very small teams that somehow managed to survive (Valiant Heart, Mario Rabbids, Grow Home)

Of course people working on average games are going to look around and ask themselves if it's all worth it.
 
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Quite a lot of people on these forums actually. Not me personally, but many don't seem to mind their formula at all.

I don't get it, they've gone from reasonably well done, expansive but derivative content to full blown bullet sponge enemies, predatory levelling up systems and broken launches. Just kill them at this point.
 

yurinka

Member
"Nearly 500 employees..."

Ubisoft employs upwards of 19,000 people.

So around 98 percent of employees chose not to sign this letter.
In Ubisoft's LinkedIn they mention 20000 employees and over 40 offices. And as I remember the signatures (now over 1000) are open to everyone: from employees to former employees, fans, youtubers and everyone who wants to make an annonymous signature.
 
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Bragr

Member
They demand a seat at the table? for something that likely never happened to them? and demand that offenders get fired) (offenders in their eyes is everyone who overheard something, a manager that didn't act exactly how they wanted, and everyone who disagrees with them).

Man fuck these people, I hope Ubisoft fires all of them, the bullshit they are pulling here is not gonna help anyone, it's just a powerplay, what you need is culture change, not someone who thinks they "got the answer" on how to enact "change" and attacks anyone who doesn't follow their fucked up protocol. These people are just as abusive as the offenders themselves.
 

Alebrije

Gold Member
The people signing the demand maybe think they work for goverment. Asking for a seat on the "table" says a lot of how ignorant they are..
 
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