Quarter of employees at gaming firm Ubisoft report misconduct


The recent sexual-harassment scandal shaking Ubisoft, the leading French video game publisher and one of the biggest names around the world, is only the tip of the iceberg, Harvey said. — AFP

PARIS: A quarter of employees at the French video game giant Ubisoft have been victims of professional misconduct at work or were witnesses to it, according to a survey carried out by the group following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The creator of hit games including Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry launched a probe and announced the departure of its chief creative officer and other senior executives in July after claims about the group’s toxic work culture.

Chief executive and co-founder Yves Guillemot, who admitted earlier this year that the group had “fallen short”, said that 2,000 employees had participated in “listening sessions” and nearly 14,000 had responded to an anonymous survey.

The results showed that “roughly 25% have experienced or witnessed some form of workplace misconduct in the past two years, and that one in five do not feel fully respected or safe in the work environment”, said a statement from the company.

The executive shake-up at Ubisoft in July was hailed by some as a #MeToo moment in the male-dominated video game publishing industry, which has faced criticism in the past for the sexist and misogynistic characters and imagery often found in games.

One employee at Ubisoft said on social media that shortly after arriving at the company that a team leader told her she was hired because she was “cute” but that “to everyone’s surprise you do your job well”.

She said she had discovered a mailing list where men describe what women are wearing “so guys can go take a look”.

Some commentators have suggested that the Ubisoft scandal has blown the lid on abuse inside the industry.

“I’m convinced that what is taking place at Ubisoft is causing huge waves in other companies, because this is not just happening at Ubisoft,” Stephanie Harvey, a champion Canadian gamer and former Ubisoft employee, told AFP in July. – AFP

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