Around 500 current and former Ubisoft employees have signed a letter of solidarity with Activision Blizzard workers, who are staging a walkout today in protest of the company’s response to a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed last week. The letter, as reported by Axios, also criticizes Ubisoft, which saw its share of controversy last year. Ubisoft employees write that they “had enough,” and that more needs to be done not only with the companies, but the industry as a whole.
“We, the undersigned, have had enough,” the letter reads. “It has been over a year since the first revelations of systemic discrimination, harassment and bullying within Ubisoft came out. At the time, you acted surprised to hear of these acts going on within your own company and we gave you the benefit of the doubt. However, we have seen nothing more than a year of kind words, empty promises, and an inability or unwillingness to remove known offenders. We no longer trust your commitment to address these issues at their core. You need to do more.”
Last year, Ubisoft was at the center of sexual misconduct allegations. Accusations led Assassin’s Creed Valhalla‘s creative director, Ashraf Ismail, to step down. Other men in upper management positions were removed during a company-led investigation, including Tommy Francois and Serge Hascoet. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot offered an apology last September, saying the company took “significant steps to remove or sanction those who violated our values and code of conduct.”
“This is a matter of people’s lives”
The letter acknowledged the firing of Ubisoft’s “most public offenders.” However, it also made clear that employees were not satisfied with the the actions taken by the company.
“You let the rest either resign or worse, promoted them, moved them from studio to studio, team to team, giving them second chance after second chance with no repercussions,” the letter continues. “This cycle needs to stop.”
The letter stands to reflect last week’s revelations on the troubled development of Skull & Bones. In an investigation by Kotaku, it was revealed that employees at Ubisoft Singapore were allegedly struggling under the weight of mismanagement and workplace toxicity.
The workers end the letter with a demand for changes across the games industry, and not just for Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft employees.
“To this end, we propose that ActivisionBlizzard, Ubisoft and other industry-leading publishers and developers collaborate and agree to a set of rules and processes for handling reports of these offences,” the letter reads. “This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives. This is essential to ensure that those who are directly affected by these behaviours are leading the change.”
Ubisoft issues a response
As reported by Axios’ Stephen Totilo, Ubisoft issued a reply to the aforementioned letter. The company writes that it “carefully read the letter signed by former and current Ubisoft employees,” and that it takes the issues described “very seriously.” You can see the entire letter and Ubisoft’s response below:
Statement from Ubisoft about the letter: says it takes the letter and issues raised in it seriously. No specifics in terms of new actions. pic.twitter.com/7q3tt50hLy
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) July 28, 2021