Video game publisher Ubisoft Entertainment SA is to remove a controversial scene from its latest mobile game that, according to an internal message from Bloomberg News, appeared to link the images of Black Lives Matter to a terrorist group.
Last week, Ubisoft released Tom Clancys Elite Squad, a game for iOS and Android in which the player gathers a team of fighters to take on Umbra, a terrorist organization. In the game̵
The video was the subject of intense social media criticism over the weekend amid violent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23. This year marked a turning point for the Black Lives Matter movement and saw widespread demands for racial justice after a police officer killed George Floyd in late May. In June, Ubisoft announced it would donate $ 100,000 to the NAACP and Black Lives Matter.
On Saturday Ubisoft apologized for Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad video and said it would remove the “Fist Raised Images” from the game. On Sunday, in a thread on Ubisoft’s internal message board, Mana, employees said they were angry that this happened. “Ubisoft has to do better,” one employee wrote in a long message that was checked by Bloomberg.
Charlie Guillemot, Creative Director and General Manager of Ubisoft’s Owlient Studio, responded with an apology and promised to remove the “entire introductory sequence” from the game. “In the future, we will scrutinize the produced and soon-to-be-released content more closely to avoid similar errors,” he wrote in an internal message that was audited by Bloomberg.
The introductory sequence was produced by Guillemot in 2018 according to the post on Mana. However, some users on Twitter said the game’s fascist undertones should have set red flags. Ubisoft recently underwent a major culture review. Earlier this year, the French publisher ousted several executives and other employees accused of sexual misconduct. A Businessweek research found this Many of the complaints had been filed years earlier and Ubisoft had ignored or abused them. The CEO Yves Guillemot has promised extensive changes.
Ubisoft is run by five brothers who started the company in 1986. Charlie Guillemot, the CEO’s son, earned a Masters Degree in Computer Science in 2014 according to his LinkedIn profile. Months later he became general manager of the Owlient studio in Paris, where Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad was developed.