Technology

Ubisofts “most powerful creative force” resigns in wake of sweeping allegations

Enlarge / Ubisoft's Montreal headquarters.Getty Images

Ubisoft's chief creative officer tendered his resignation from the video game publisher behind series like Far Cry and Assassin's Creed on Saturday, one day before its biggest gaming-reveal event of the year.

Longtime CCO Serge Hascoet, described by Bloomberg game industry reporter Jason Schreier as Ubisoft's "most powerful creative force" and "the man in charge of ALL of their games," is leaving the company effective immediately, Schreier confirmed. Ubisoft's global HR chief Cecile Cornet and Ubisoft Canada's managing director Yannis Mallat also announced their intentions to "step down" from their current roles, and while Mallat is leaving the company altogether, Cornet's future with Ubisoft is not yet clear.

The news follows the resignation of Ubisoft Toronto co-founder Maxime Beland on July 3, which came in response to a Kotaku investigation that was set off, in part, by an internal allegation of abusive workplace behavior by Beland.

Content warning: Sexual harassment and assault

Chief among the allegations was that Beland had choked a female Ubisoft coworker at a company party—back in 2014. The article includes other specific allegations of clear sexual harassment, including "demeaning" jokes told to female coworkers that ended with solicitations of oral sex. Perhaps even more crucially, the report goes into great length about a combined culture of constant harassment, frequent plying of alcohol, and an HR system that resisted reports of sexual harassment. Kotaku reporter Evan Gach describes "an overall workplace culture that undervalues womens contributions, normalizes sexism and harassment, and makes excuses for the worst offenders while complaints about them go unheeded."

A similarly timed article from French publication Libération confirmed and shed more light on these accusations, while that outlet published a follow-up report on Friday with new, disturbing allegations about Hascoet's history of inappropriate workplace behavior.

As translated on Twitter, the July 10 Libération report alleged that Hascoet once replied acrimoniously to a company VP's criticisms, telling coworkers, "this 'bad fuck' [the VP] was hindering his creativity and that someone should open her mind by '[fucking her] from behind' and 'sharing her around until she gets it.'" In another alleged incident, Hascoet "reportedly blocked a woman in the elevator and put himself against her, making groaning sounds and looking her in the eyes. Some of his collaborators in the editorial team reportedly did the same, to the point it became [a signature move]."

But that July 10 follow-up also stemmed largely from an immediate negative reaction from Ubisoft's HR team to stories that went live on July 1. "Since your revelations, the siRead More – Source

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