“I’m really sorry for everyone who was hurt”
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has posted a video statement covering the stories of toxic culture and sexual harassment at the developer / publisher, which has resulted in intense scrutiny inside the studio walls and the layoff of several senior staff in recent months had.
In the almost four-minute video, Guillemot apologizes to those affected and injured for the company’s toxic behavior. “I’m really sorry for everyone who was injured,” says Guillemot. “We have taken significant steps to remove or sanction those who violated our values and Code of Conduct, and we are now working to improve our systems and processes.”
Guillemot goes on to say that Ubisoft will work harder to improve diversity and inclusivity at all levels of the company, to invest “a million dollars” in its graduate program over the next five years, and to increase opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women create and people with color. “
Regarding the recent mobile title controversy Tom Clancy’s elite squadGuillemot, who used the adjacent Black Rights iconography to represent the game’s antagonist faction, noted that Ubisoft will take protective measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Guillemot made it clear that the company is part of the Black Lives Matter movement and that Ubisoft will make a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
As the old saying goes, “Talking is cheap,” and while it is definitely welcome that the Ubisoft CEO finally publicly addresses these issues (months after they first came to light), in the end it doesn’t matter, it does unless real and unreserved changes are made throughout the company – at all levels – in the near future.
There is also an element of inevitable cynicism that Guillemot’s testimony (which will not be shown as part of the live presentation) will be withheld until the final hours of “Ubisoft Forward,” when the publisher will show the world its latest merchandise. “Better late than never” doesn’t always cut it.
Ubisoft will rightly be scrutinized in the coming weeks, months or even years. As such, the publisher still has a lot to prove to the public, and a lot of work remains to be done to restore confidence in its name, brand and products, live up to everyone it has harmed, and ensure the company will to a safe, integrative and safe working environment for all current and future employees.
Filed under …