Late in June, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Creative Director Ashraf Ismail stepped down. Ismail shared news of his decision in the days following allegations about infidelity on his part. Apparently, the director is no longer simply taking a leave of absence from the company, though. A new report claims Ubisoft has fired Ismail on the heels of a misconduct investigation, which was conducted by an unspecified external entity.
Kotaku obtained a copy of an email sent by Ubisoft to AC Valhalla’s Montréal office yesterday. According to the message, the French publisher terminated Ismail after receiving results from a “confidential investigation.” The email reads in part, “following an investigation by an external firm, it was determined that Ashraf’s employment with Ubisoft had to be terminated. We cannot provide any details about this confidential investigation.” It’s important to note that the company is not providing any details about the investigation and we cannot assume the conclusions that led to Ismail’s termination.
Ismail’s termination is one of many as Ubisoft continues to restructure its organization. These changes initially began in June after several allegations of impropriety within the publisher went public. Claims of Ismail pursuing affairs with women under false pretenses were among the first of such accusations to bubble to the surface. In addition to serving as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Creative Director throughout much of development, Ismail also directed 2013’s AC Black Flag and 2017’s AC Origins.
Weeks after the public became privy to numerous sexual abuse and harassment accusations, Ubisoft announced a few high-profile resignations. In early July, Editorial Vice President Maxime Beland stepped down. CCO Serge Hascoët, Canadian Studios Managing Director Yannis Mallat, and HR lead Cecile Cornet all resigned from their respective posts not too long thereafter. Another Editorial VP, Tommy François, departed the publisher a couple of weeks ago in the midst of Ubisoft’s misconduct investigations.