Ubisoft has released a statement from CEO Yves Guillemot, who apologised for a number of controversies that have surrounded the company of late. This includes the recent abuse scandal as well as criticisms of Ubisoft’s new mobile game, Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) September 10, 2020
In reference to allegations of abuse by high-level employees, and that Ubisoft’s HR department would not respond to said complaints, Guillemot remarked: “This summer, we learned that certain Ubisoft employees did not uphold our company’s values, and that our systems failed to protect the victims of their behaviour.”
“I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt. We have taken significant steps to remove or sanction those who violated our values and code of conduct and we are working to improve our systems and processes.
“We are also focused on improving diversity and inclusivity at all levels of the company. For example, we will invest an additional $1 million over the next five years in our graduate program. The focus will be on creating opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and people of color to join and thrive at Ubisoft.
“We are at the start of a long journey. Real change will take time. But I am determined to do everything in my power to ensure everyone at Ubisoft feels welcome, respected, and safe. And to rebuild the trust our teams, fans, and players have in us.”
Guillemot also addressed the controversy surrounding Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad, Ubisoft’s new mobile title. Some people have argued that the game’s imagery and messaging conflates its antagonists with the Black Lives Matter movement. The game’s villain’s use of a raised fist imagery has drawn particular criticism, with Ubisoft promising to patch this logo out of the game.
“Around the world, this year continues to be a time of societal unrest,” Guillemot said. “I want to be clear. Ubisoft stands for equality and respect for all. Unfortunately, one of our recent mobile games included content that was inappropriate. This kind of oversight cannot happen. We are putting in place safeguards to prevent it in the future.”
“We condemn anyone using our game as a proxy for hate or toxicity,” Guillemot specified in his message today. “We fully support the Black Lives Matter movement. And today, we are making an additional donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.”
Despite these controversies, the Ubisoft CEO rejected any notions that he may step down from his position, stating “I am fully committed to leading the change at Ubisoft, and to ensuring we always uphold and exemplify our core values. In the company, in the industry, the community, and in our games.”
The video has drawn some criticism for being released separately from the Ubisoft Forward show, which began just hours later. Responding to the complaints in the Twitter replies, Ubisoft stated: “We hear you, due to timing constraints, we chose to release the video as a standalone message before our #UbiForward event, but we are working to ensure it will be available in full in the VOD versions of the show.”