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Ubisoft has a five pronged plan to address the studio's culture of misconduct

Ubisoft has a five pronged plan to address the studio's culture of misconduct

July 22, 2020 | By Alissa McAloon

July 22, 2020 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Console/PC

It’s been nearly one month since allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct were levied against many, many members of the game industry, several of which involved actions by staff at Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft.

The company has, in the weeks that followed those accusations, since seen the exit of some of those employees named as abusers either through dismissals or resignations. Now, Ubisoft says that it is still working on a number of internal changes to address other accusations as well as the claim that the structure of the company enables and protects abusers.

Those changes are included in Ubisoft’s latest quarterly report, and includes an “action plan” that includes steps like working with outside consultants to investigate allegations, overhauling systems like HR and the editorial department, and creating new positions for Workplace Culture and Diversity & Inclusion heads.

“I am determined to make profound changes in order to improve and strengthen our corporate culture. We already have acted swiftly and firmly, announcing and introducing largescale initiatives intended to transform our organization,” reads a statement from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. “Our overriding aim is ensuring that all Ubisoft employees have a safe and inclusive workplace environment. As a leader in our industry, we have to be intransigent in order to create an exemplary culture where everyone feels respected and valued. This is vital to ensure that all of the talented people who make up Ubisoft feel fulfilled in their jobs.”

That plan, as worded in Ubisoft's Q1 results, is as follows: 

1. A series of investigations led by independent external consultants is being carried out on the allegations with all the necessary rigor. In addition, a confidential third-party managed listening and alert platform has been put in place to enable employees as well as external individuals to anonymously report any harassment, discrimination or other inappropriate behavior. Based on the findings of these investigations, all appropriate measures are being and will be taken. The external company will issue regular reports to Ubisoft’s Board of Directors. To date, several people, including senior managers, have left the Group or stepped down from their role within the Company, some of whom have been dismissed or have resigned and others who have been suspended. A support and recovery unit has also been put in place, which will be overseen by an organization specialized in helping victims of harassment.

2. A review of the composition and reorganization of the editorial department has been undertaken under the leadership of Yves Guillemot, with an overhaul of the way in which the teams work together.

3. The Group has embarked on a transformation of its HR processes in order to better prevent, detect and sanction inappropriate behavior. For that purpose, it has selected a leading consultancy firm to perform an external audit. It has also been decided that a portion of team leads’ bonuses will be tied to their ability to create a positive and inclusive workplace environment. And lastly, the Group intends to launch a harassment awareness-raising campaign among all of its employees which will take the form of training modules.

4. Ubisoft has launched a group-wide questionnaire to obtain their feedback on a totally anonymous basis, and has put in place talking and listening sessions for employees on all of its sites with the aim of addressing their suggestions and concerns and identifying areas for improvement.

5. A Head of Workplace Culture has been appointed and a new position of Head of Diversity and Inclusion has been created, open to both internal and external candidates. Both of these roles will report directly to Yves Guillemot. 

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