With the recent announcement of Assassin’s Creed Infinity, Ubisoft employees are once again raising questions about the company’s handling of abuse allegations towards members of management. The ambitious live-service title will see Ubisoft’s Montreal and Quebec studios pooling resources, with many accused management members heading development. In statements to the press, Ubisoft has reiterated its position that third parties have investigated the allegations and that the company has dealt with them accordingly, though many employees don’t share this same sense of relief.
Ubisoft announced the next title in the Assassin’s Creed just yesterday, though details are still scarce. What we do know is that the game, titled Assassin’s Creed Infinity, is early in development and will be a live-service game that will feature multiple historical settings. The service looks to model itself after other live-service games, adding more content and features over time. However, Ubisoft has noted that the details are still subject to change as the game will not release for at least a few years (insiders expect it 2024 at the earliest).
To make this ambitious project a reality, Ubisoft has brought together Ubisoft Montreal (the studio behind Assassin’s Creed Valhalla) and Ubisoft Quebec (the studio behind Assassin’s Creed Odyssey) to work on Infinity. Employees have noted, however, that the reorganization has put many members of management accused of sexual harassment and abuse into lead roles. According to one source from Bloomberg, devs flooded the company’s internal message board after Ubisoft announced the project, airing concerns and expressing disappointment with how the company handled the allegations.
Others have also expressed frustration about working on a massive production, prompting a “rising number of employees” from the Montreal studio to leave. Bloomberg also notes that an ongoing rivalry between the two studios may also lead to internal tensions between the two teams.
A spokesperson from Ubisoft has stated that the company “takes each and every allegation seriously” and has conducted investigations into the allegations using third parties, reiterating statements made by CEO Yves Guillemot earlier this year. Ubisoft stresses that it has taken proper and appropriate actions based on the findings, including “warnings, removal of managerial responsibility or dismissal.”
While the above may be true in some cases, it’s worth noting that many of the accused ended up simply resigning without legal repercussions. There have also been no updates or statements on how the company’s HR department, which was accused of being complicit and in some cases burying reports of abuse, has changed since the allegations.