ABetterUbisoft - Employees Sign Open Letter in Solidarity with Activision Blizzard Demands
Over a thousand current and former Ubisoft employees have signed an open letter in solidarity with Activision Blizzard employees and their demands for a better work environment. Referring back to Ubisoft's own history of discrimination and misconduct, the letter calls on management to make fundamental changes in order to address widespread abusive behavior within the games development industry.
Condemning the all too frequent process of firing only the most public offenders while others are protected, promoted, or given second chances within other studios, the letter goes on to propose that Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, and other major developers collaborate to develop an industry wide process for handling reports of discrimination and misconduct. Similar to the
four demands listed by Activision Blizzard employees during their walkout
, the Ubisoft employees have listed four demands of their own.
Far from being
contained to Blizzard Entertainment
, Ubisoft went through its own
series of scandals last year
. What started with more than a dozen public claims of sexual harassment quickly revealed long term systemic issues within the French video game publisher, ranging from subtle sexism to overt sexual assault. Interviews with past and current employees uncovered dozens of accusations long forgotten, mishandled, or ignored by Ubisoft's human resources department, with many describing a "frat house" environment, which is
all too familiar
to the allegations surrounding Blizzard Entertainment.
In Ubisoft's case, some of these
were executives at the highest levels
, including Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, whose
history of harassment and discrimination was published in the French newspaper Libération
. While Ubisoft was quick to offer their condemnation and
announce the resignations of several seemingly untouchable executives
from the company, including Hascoët and Chief of Human Resources Cecile Cornet, the employee-signed letter indicates that the company still has a long way to go - detailing the employee's lack of trust and calling on Ubisoft to make real change, rather than institute ineffective training sessions.
Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft co-founder and CEO
Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised — and never will. I am committed to implementing profound changes across the Company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture. Moving forward, as we collectively embark on a path leading to a better Ubisoft, it is my expectation that leaders across the Company manage their teams with the utmost respect. I also expect them to work to drive the change we need, always thinking of what is best for Ubisoft and all its employees.
Bobby Kotick's statement during the second quarter annual investor report
was also strongly worded, employees of Ubisoft and Activision are still waiting for action, and quickly running out of patience.
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