Five ex-Ubisoft executives arrested for systemic sexual violence

Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Watch Dogs Legion keyart symbolising Ubisoft’s biggest franchises

Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Watch Dogs Legion keyart symbolising Ubisoft’s biggest franchises

Five ex-executives of Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs studio Ubisoft have been arrested following a lengthy sexual harassment investigation at the video game studio.

Following mass reports of sexual misconduct at the French video game company, a year-long investigation took place. Following the end of the investigation, five former Ubisoft executives have been placed under arrest.

French newspaper Libération, via GamesIndustry, reports that three executives were arrested on Tuesday October 3rd. An additional two executives were placed in custody on the day of writing.

Lawyer Maude Beckers told the outlet that the sexual harassment issues over at the company were not one-off events. Instead, the investigation revealed a history of “systemic sexual violence” led by executives on their employees.

Former chief creative officer Serge Hascoët and ex-VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François were both arrested following the investigation. Both Ubisoft execs stepped down from their positions following reports of sexual harassment in 2020. Three more executives have also been jailed.

Ubisoft was one of three major studios outed for mass sexual harassment over the past three years. Alongside the Assassin’s Creed developer, Warcraft and Overwatch’s Activision-Blizzard was exposed as a hostile work environment for women, with one employee driven to take their own life.

Additionally, League of Legends studio Riot Games was found to be responsible for years of sexual harassment against female workers. The studio recently replaced its CEO and revealed plans to pay affected former employees reparations for the abuse they suffered at the company.

Ubisoft has long been criticised for its failures to create a safer work environment following reports of sexual harassment at the company. Via Kotaku, multiple employees revealed the company has yet to make solid improvements on protecting its hundreds of workers. While the company has revealed plans to overhaul its internal HR processes, it’s still far from perfect.

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