Open letter seemingly fails to elicit response
It has been a full year since the in-house focus group “A Better Ubisoft” (ABK) penned an open letter to Ubisoft bosses over the reported toxicity, abuse, and harassment that is taking place within the studio’s walls. And, according to comments made by ABK yesterday, not one of the group’s original requests has been met.
ABK was formed out of both current and former Ubisoft employees, who decided to take matters into their own hands following the publishing of a Bloomberg report into a culture of sexual harassment, bullying, and other toxic behaviors at the Assassin’s Creed developer. The fallout from the report lead to several resignations and repurposed positions within the studio, as well as an apology video from CEO Yves Guillemot, notoriously timed to air minutes before Spetember 2020’s “Ubisoft Forward” presentation.
It is one year to the day that we signed our open letter to Ubisoft management calling for FAR more action to tackle abuse and setting out our four key demands. None of our demands have been met.#ABetterUbisoft #EndAbuseInGaming
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— A Better Ubisoft ???? (@ABetterUbisoft) July 28, 2022
The ABK movement wrote to Ubisoft leadership, demanding “real, fundamental change” at the company — a letter which was signed by over 500 employees. The letter outlined demands for new rules, leadership accountability, better communication, and, above all, the full removal of any and all known offenders from the company. However, according to ABK’s update, none of the above actions have been implemented.
Furthermore, ABK notes that 25% of the people who signed the original letter have since left Ubisoft entirely, suggesting a sense of frustration and apathy toward any possibility that real change is forthcoming. ABK states that women represent just 25% of Ubisoft’s entire global workforce, and thus the studio is losing female employees at a massively disproportional rate. The thread then ends with ABK reiterating its list of demands from the studio.
Since the original Bloomberg report, there have been several updated accounts of the situation, with employees repeatedly claiming that the situation at Ubisoft has not improved, despite the heavy scrutiny that the studio was placed under in the weeks and months following the report’s publishing.
Less than a year after the report’s publishing, Activision Blizzard found itself sued by the State of California following an investigation into its own culture of harassment, sexism, and general toxic behavior toward its staff. Employees at Activision Blizzard have since held numerous walkouts and issued demands for safer working environments, but still struggle to see tangible, meaningful change. Activision Blizzard would be purchased by Microsoft in January of this year for $68.7 billion USD.