Ubisoft opens internal investigations after accusations of violence and sexual harassment in its studios

Testimonies, anonymous or not, from employees of the video game publisher have been flocking to Twitter since Wednesday.

Is the world of video games going through its «Me too»? Since Wednesday, testimonies from employees or former employees of the video game publisher, written anonymously or under their name, have appeared on Twitter. They denounce inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment or violence by company executives, including two vice-presidents. The testimonials concern studios located in Canada, the United States, but also in Sweden, Bulgaria, Brazil, and at the French headquarters of Ubisoft.

Friday have opened internal investigations, which will be conducted by independent experts. “Depending on the findings, we undertake to take all appropriate disciplinary measures”, writes the company. “We also audit our existing policies, procedures and systems to understand where they have failed, and to ensure that we can better prevent, detect and punish any inappropriate behavior.”, she continues. Many testimonies incriminate the human resources of the company, which would have minimized the facts or protected their perpetrators.

Face licked

Some of the stories are collected and relayed on Twitter by narrative designer Meghna Jayanth and streamer Denny Von Doom. One of them tells how, “Drunk and enraged”, a creative director of Ubisoft Toronto “Strangled an employee at a Far Cry party”, one of Ubisoft’s most famous franchises. The manager of the studio in question was aware of and “has done nothing”, the person concerned having even subsequently obtained a promotion.

Other testimonies denounce an industry “Incredibly toxic to women”: an ex-employee tells that a colleague asked her for a blowjob during a party while she was still working at her office, others relate that such a creative director of the Montreal studio has “Licked the face” of an employee at another company party.

“I was mocked when I went to my boss to talk to him about my problems”, explains one of them. Another testimony denounces a sexist and homophobic atmosphere in a company studio in Sofia (Bulgaria).

For the past week, the video game sector in general has been shaken by a wave of accusations: dozens of women have shared on the networks their experience of discrimination, harassment or sexual assault in this still very masculine sector. If the first stories focused on the world of streaming video game parts, they then opened up to practices within development studios.