Content warning: this article contains explicit references to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and suicide.
Ubisoft employees have criticised CEO Yves Guillemot’s response to an open letter from staff calling for safe working conditions within the company.
In recent weeks, current and former employees of Activision Blizzard have filed a lawsuit against the company following accusations of bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment. In an act of solidarity employees of Activision Blizzard walked out in protest of the working conditions in the hope of change within the industry.
The gaming community has shown solidarity
For the most part, the gaming community has rallied in support from both industry employees and fans alike. One such show of support came from current and former employees of Ubisoft. In a report from Eurogamer, it is believed that over a thousand current and former Ubisoft employees have signed an open letter in solidarity with Activision Blizzard staff.
Ubisoft is no stranger to strong allegations from within its workforce, as reported by Bloomberg in 2020. This resulted in the Ubisoft CEO claiming that he would “do everything in [his] power to ensure that everyone feels welcomed, respected, and safe”. However, according to the recent open letter, employees claim that little has changed.
Employees respond to Ubisoft CEO
Furthermore, as reported by Axios Gaming’s Stephen Totilo, Ubisoft CEO Guillemot emailed his employees with his open letter addressing previous allegations and in response to those recent at Activision Blizzard.
“We have heard clearly from this letter that not everyone is confident in the processes that have been put in place to manage misconduct reports,” emailed the CEO.
“We have made important progress over the past year,” continued Guillemot.
Nearly 500 current and former Ubisoft workers from 32 studios have signed an open letter in solidarity with Activision Blizzard workers — and calling out Ubisoft management for its handling of its misconduct scandals over the past year. https://t.co/ZfwV239chc— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) July 28, 2021
Here’s the letter in full. It doesn’t just stand with AB workers, doesn’t just criticize Ubisoft bosses. It calls for industry-wide action and change, with publishers and developers getting involved. pic.twitter.com/WMNmRHjrq0— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) July 28, 2021
In a series of tweets, Totilo reported that employees of Ubisoft responded to the CEOs letter saying: “Change takes time, but getting rid of toxic people shouldn’t take a year or more” – “This is exhausting”
Workers say the letter has now been signed by nearly 1,000 current and former employees.— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) July 29, 2021
Initial reaction from some to the CEO’s message:
– “Change takes time, but getting rid of toxic people shouldn’t take a year or more”
– “This is exhausting”
It’s time for a change
Additionally, as highlighted by Eurogamer, employees of Ubisoft outlined three key demands from the company:
- “Stop promoting, and moving known offenders from studio to studio, team to team with no repercussions. This cycle needs to stop.”
- “We want a collective seat at the table, to have a meaningful say in how Ubisoft as a company moves forward from here.”
- “Cross-industry collaboration, to agree to a set of ground rules and processes that all studios should use to handle these offences in the future – this collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives by being the first to start this collaboration Ubisoft has the opportunity to be at the forefront of creating a better future for the games industry. We demand that this work be done in collaboration with employees at all levels.”
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
- Black Girls Code – https://www.blackgirlscode.com
- Futures without Violence – https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org
- Girls Who Code – https://girlswhocode.com
- RAINN – https://www.rainn.org
- Women In Animation – https://womeninanimation.org
- Women in Games International – https://www.getwigi.com
Featured Image Credit: Ubisoft