Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has issued a video statement in which he addresses several controversies that have rocked the company in recent months.
The statement – which was pushed to social accounts prior to the Ubisoft Forward event yesterday – addresses recent allegations of misconduct by Ubisoft employees, as well as the furore surrounding its Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad smartphone game.
Regarding the misconduct allegations, Guillemot said:
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.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad – Ubisoft’s new mobile title – has triggered criticism due to the way in which appears to portray a movement similar to Black Lives Matter in a negative light.
Guillemot addressed this issue with the following statement:
Around the world, this year continues to be a time of societal unrest. 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. We fully support the Black Lives Matter movement. And today, we are making an additional donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Guillemot also resisted calls for his resignation from the company, stating that he was "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."