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Opinion Drama Game Dev Ubisoft employees demand ‘real change’ in open letter following industry misconduct scandals

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

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.”
 
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CitizenZ

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Ariana Grande Finger Guns GIF
 

oagboghi2

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Apr 15, 2018
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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.
 

Swoopsail

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Apr 18, 2021
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Real change probably means letting old stale monopolies die. Starve the beast.

NEXT!
 

Bragr

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Jun 24, 2020
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They demand that anyone who didn't "act" be removed? are you kidding me? imagine getting fired because you overheard a bad remark.
 
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kiphalfton

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Dec 27, 2018
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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

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May 31, 2020
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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

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Jan 7, 2018
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Oh fuck, more “politically correct” abominations like AC Odyssey. Can’t wait for the further butchering of one of my favorite franchises...
 

Unk Adams

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Apr 16, 2021
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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

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Apr 17, 2015
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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

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Jul 1, 2009
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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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DJ Shalad

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Dec 10, 2018
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Ubisoft will not survive the next decade. F2P crap + Ass.Creeping for the 55th time and sporadically a news-update to BGAE2.
 

Lanrutcon

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Feb 19, 2014
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Irrelevant
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.
 

Skifi28

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Jun 28, 2020
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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.
How do you separate pronoun people belonging to the other 30+ genders?
 
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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

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Sep 6, 2015
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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

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Apr 15, 2018
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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

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Jun 23, 2017
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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.
 
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Guilty_AI

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Apr 12, 2020
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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
Jun 21, 2013
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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
Dec 6, 2013
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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.
 
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CuteFaceJay

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Sep 11, 2019
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Doubt it'll happen till a bunch of people get told they'll get raped by their co-workers and then news breaks out about it.
 

Ballthyrm

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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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