Ubisoft Forward gaming event will not address sexual harassment issues facing the company

James Martin / CNET

Ubisoft Forward, the company’s Sunday game announcements, serves as a digital version of its annual press event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, each summer in Los Angeles. The event, which is taking place entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic, is when it will announce its biggest new games, such as the action games Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and FarCry 6.

But the company said it would not address the allegations of sexual misconduct circulating around the company. “Ubisoft Forward comes at a time of great internal change,” the company tweeted hours before the start of its event. “Because all of the content was pre-recorded, we wanted to recognize that the issues we are currently dealing with will not be addressed directly on the show.”

The company said it still had “important work to do” and would provide more public updates soon.

Ubisoft’s choice not to discuss one of the biggest public misconduct scandals in its history comes as the gaming industry as a whole faces a toll. Hundreds of people who work in game companies, media companies and compete in competitive games say they have been abused by people across the industry in recent years. Worse, they say many companies mishandled their claims when they came to light.

The outcry did not happen in a vacuum. This flood of allegations echoed the #MeToo movement that hit Hollywood in late 2017, and has since encouraged many victims to come forward in tries to hold powerful aggressors to account. In the game, this is far from an isolated incident. Over the past 8 years, players have fought for fan and industry treatment of women and prominent critics, events which became known as GamerGate. In the words of a developer CNET spoke in June, “The gaming industry is on its third ‘MeToo’ movement.”

At Ubisoft, the allegations have so far resulted in the departure of senior executives. It was Serge Hascoet, creative director of the company, Yannis Mallat, head of computer studios in Canada. Cécile Cornet, the company’s global human resources manager, has also resigned. Others accused of sexual misconduct have reportedly been fired or put on administrative leave while the company investigates, CNET’s sister site GameSpot reported.

“Ubisoft has not fulfilled its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive work environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, because toxic behaviors are in direct contradiction to values ​​on which I have never compromised – and never will, ”Yves Guillemot, CEO and co-founder of Ubisoft said in a statement. “I am committed to implementing profound changes across the company to improve and strengthen our corporate culture. “

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Jennifer R. Strohm

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