Assassin’s Creed director Ashraf Ismail has been terminated from Ubisoft, following an internal investigation into claims of sexual misconduct.
Kotaku acquired an internal announcement addressed to the employees of Ubisoft Montreal, which divulged the news. “Following an investigation by an external firm, it was determined that Ashraf’s employment with Ubisoft had to be terminated,” read the statement. “We cannot provide any details about this confidential investigation.” Ismail was accused of initiating extramarital affairs with fans and using his status at the company to impress younger women. In response, Ubisoft announced he would be taking a leave of absence and that he had been removed from the development of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
“The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this,” he said. In June, a slew of stories of abusive and predatory behaviour had been told about Ubisoft employees, including high-profile figures like Tommy François, Maxime Béland, and Serge Hascoët. One former editorial employee expressed her fear of wearing high heels or dresses when entering the office, and that she was too scared to drink alcohol at work socials.
Ubisoft has enacted a wide-ranging internal investigation into these claims, and CEO Yves Guillemot stated that the company has “fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees.” However, French trade union Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo has levelled a lawsuit against the developer, and denounced it for cultivating a company policy that “values its profits before the health and safety of its employees.”