Games Technology

5 Former Ubisoft Execs Arrested By Police For Questioning About Sexual Misconduct Allegations


Three years after allegations of sexual misconduct inside Murderer’s Creed writer Ubisoft first surfaced, French authorities are shifting forward with a legal investigation. 5 former executives had been detained for questioning on October 3, together with former VP Tommy Francois, and CEO Yves Guillemot’s former right-hand head of inventive, Serge Hascoet.

The arrests had been first reported by the French newspaper Libération, and have been corroborated by Kotaku’s personal sources. As a part of the detentions, the previous executives will give testimony to legislation enforcement that may very well be utilized in an eventual legal trial. The high-profile motion being taken relating to allegations that first got here to mild in 2020 follows a multi-year investigation involving interviews with over 50 present and former staff, Libération stories.

Hasocet, a 32-year veteran at Ubisoft, had lengthy been in control of the inventive route of video games, franchises, and the corporate itself as its chief inventive officer. Builders throughout the corporate had been repeatedly required to current progress on their video games to him and others on the writer’s Paris headquarters, together with his suggestions determinging the life or dying of a undertaking, in addition to whether or not minute gameplay options ought to be added or deserted. Francois, a VP who reported to Hascoet, oversaw Ubisoft’s World Texture Facility (often called “WTF”), an enormous database of paintings and onsite analysis from throughout the globe that groups relied on for inspiration in crafting the corporate’s largest blockbusters like Far Cry and Ghost Recon.

Studies by Libération and Bloomberg accused each males of sexual misconduct and contributing to a misogynistic “boys membership” mentality on the Paris workplace. Hasocet would allegeldy make sexual feedback about staff and growl at them in a suggesetive method throughout conferences, whereas Francois was accused of making an attempt to forcibly kiss a feminine colleague at a piece occasion whereas one other male colleague held her from behind. Each males departed from the corporate in July 2020 proper after the stories had been printed, however Ubisoft by no means confirmed if both of them was truly fired.

Whereas removed from the one staff accused of sexual misconduct on the firm, they had been two of essentially the most high-profile. In June 2021, the French union Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo, together with a number of victims, filed complaints with the Bobigny legal court docket in opposition to the corporate as a complete in addition to Guillemot after which head of human assets, Cecile Cornet, of “institutional harassment” for failing to keep up a secure work surroundings and, in some situations, allegedly trying the opposite method. According to Libération’s earlier report, Cornet instructed some employees at Ubisoft that “Yves [Guillemot] is OK with poisonous administration, so long as the outcomes of those managers exceed their stage of toxicity.”

Relying on the result of the interrogations, the previous executives, together with Hascoet, may very well be compelled to current their testimony earlier than a choose. It’s unclear if any present executives on the firm, like Guillemot, have been questioned by police as a part of the investigation up to now. The corporate has largely tried to show the web page on the office reckoning, and is at present getting ready to launch Murderer’s Creed Mirage on October 5, the primary new recreation within the blockbuster franchise since 2020.

“Ubisoft has no data of what has been shared and due to this fact can’t remark,” a spokesperson for the corporate instructed Kotaku.