Almost a full year following a wave of harassment and toxic workplace allegations across multiple Ubisoft studios and departments, a new report indicates that very little has changed within the company.
A report in French publication Le Télégramme, as translated by GamesIndustry.biz, states that as the first wave of legal proceedings brought by workers’ union Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo begin this month, Ubisoft has done minimal work to improve its culture. For one, many of those accused still have jobs at the company, such as Nadeo studio lead Florent Castelnérac, about whom Solidaires published ten testimonials relating bullying and abusive behavior toward employees. Castelnérac is still the Nadeo managing director, according to the studio’s official website.
Another person remaining despite allegations is former Singapore studio lead Hugues Ricour, who Kotaku reported was taken down from his role following an audit in the wake of allegations. His LinkedIn profile indicates that he did not leave his role in Singapore until February (three months after the Kotaku report) and who LinkedIn now says has a role as a production intelligence director in Ubisoft’s Paris headquarters.
Similarly, Le Télégramme reports that “nothing has changed” at Ubisoft in Canada under new studio head Christophe Derennes, who replaced Yannis Mallat after the latter left the company in the wake of the allegations. Reportedly there have since been new harassment cases submitted that were sidelined in December of last year.
This is all in spite of multiple public-facing actions Ubisoft has taken in an effort to respond to the allegations, such as replacing former director of HR Cécile Cornet with chief people officer Anika Grant. Cornet officially stepped down last year as well in the wake of the allegations, but reportedly only just recently left Ubisoft for good as Grant took on her new role.
Ubisoft also appointed Raashi Sikka as VP of global diversity and inclusion, but an elected representative from Ubisoft’s social and economic committee reportedly told Le Télégramme that they don’t “expect anything to come out of these appointments,” given that many members of HR who actively worked to cover up and ignore issues while protecting executives are said to remain with the company.
Other efforts to address the work culture are said to have included a new code of conduct, and half-day training for 20,000 staff members with more advanced training for management. However, management has also reportedly ignored various employee-led initiatives to improve matters, such as efforts to hire more women. Ubisoft had previously committed to “major changes” following the scandals.
In response to a request for comment from GamesIndustry.biz, an Ubisoft spokesperson said, “Over a period of several months, Ubisoft has implemented major changes across its organization, internal processes and procedures in order to guarantee a safe, inclusive and respectful working environment for all team members.”