Last year, a group of current and former Ubisoft employees known as “A Better Ubisoft” wrote an open letter condemning the company’s degrading work culture. Written in solidarity with Activision Blizzard employees dealing with similar issues, the letter specifically brought up Ubisoft’s history with sexual harassment as well as its unwillingness to address these problems. Details regarding this work environment surfaced as far back as 2020, and the letter expressed disappointment over the continued prevalence of these problems a year later. Well, another year has gone by since that letter came out, and according to A Better Ubisoft, the company has done little to improve its work culture.
Back in 2020, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot made comments promising to “ensure that everyone…feels welcomed, respected, and safe.” Last year’s letter noted that Ubisoft employees “have seen nothing more than a year of kind words, empty promises, and an inability or unwillingness to remove known offenders.”
The current situation
More recently, A Better Ubisoft posted a Twitter thread stating that around 25% of the Ubisoft employees who signed that letter have left the company since then, with nearly 40% of them going by she/her pronouns. Ubisoft is losing a disproportionate number of female signatories, as women only make up 25.4% of the world’s workforce. The thread went on to reiterate A Better Ubisoft’s key demands, which include the need to give the group a seat at the negotiating table and a request to cease promotions of known offenders.
Although Ubisoft’s apparent lack of a response to its toxic work culture does not come as a surprise, that makes it no less aggravating. Issues of harassment and a lack of accountability have become far too commonplace in the video game industry, and Ubisoft’s seeming refusal to reverse this trend affects people’s livelihoods in serious ways. Activision Blizzard may have received most of the media attention for its abuses, but Ubisoft deserves just as much scrutiny.