Ubisoft
by on Jul 29, 2021

Ubisoft employees slam “empty promises” from management in show of support for Activision Blizzard employees

Around 500 current and former Ubisoft employees have signed an open letter that not only stands in solidarity with Activision Blizzard workers walking out over the treatment of marginalised workers following its recent harassment lawsuit, but also calls on Ubisoft management to do more following its own allegations of a toxic workplace culture last year.

As reported by Axios’ Stephen Totilo, the letter opens with a statement in solidarity with the workers staging the walkout. “Over the past week, the games industry has been rocked by revelations that have long been known by too many of us. Revelations that a year ago many were hearing about Ubisoft. It is clear, from the frequency of these reports, that there is a widespread and deeply ingrained culture of abusive behaviour within the industry. It should no longer be a surprise to anyone; employees, executives, journalists or fans that these heinous acts are going on. It is time to stop being shocked. We must demand real steps be take to prevent them. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions.”

The letter then goes on to directly address Ubisoft management, and mentioned how they gave “the benefit of the doubt” of the company’s official response at the time. “However, we have seen nothing more than a year of kind words, empty promises and an inability or unwillingness to to remove known offenders. We no longer trust your commitment to address these issues at their core. You need to do more.”

It then went on to acknowledge the training sessions, focus groups and education such as those mentioned by management including CEO Yves Guillemot over the past year, but makes clear that more real, impactful action is needed. “This is a matter of people’s lives, their mental and physical health. By choosing profit our security, you are literally toying with our lives. We should not have to choose between work and our safety.” It continues: “We need real, fundamental changes, within Ubisoft, within Activision Blizzard and across the industry.”

“To this end, we propose that Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and other industry-leading publishers and developers collaborate and agree to a set of rules and processes for handling reports of these offences. This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives. This is essential to ensure that those who are directly affected by these behaviours are leading the change.”

Ubisoft sent out a response to the letter a few hours after it was published. Its statement read: “We have carefully read the letter signed by former and current Ubisoft employees. We have a deep respect for the engagement of our teams who are pushing for changes within our industry. We want to be very clear that we take this letter – and the issues it raises – very seriously. Over the past year, we have committed to engaging with our employees to enact fundamental changes. Many of these changes have been driven by internal feedback and insights shared by our teams and we are grateful for this ongoing communication.”

“Ubisoft has made significant and meaningful changes that seek to create a safe and inclusive work environment for all, and there is still more work to be done. We absolutely stand behind these efforts and the positive impact they have had on our company culture while also recognizing that we must continue to engage with our employees to ensure we are creating a workplace where they feel valued, supported and most importantly, safe.”

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