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“Morale and trust” at Ubisoft is low according to staff

This Wednesday, Ubisoft staff (ranging from 500-1000) signed an open letter alongside Activision Blizzard employees in solidarity after a recent lawsuit against the publisher surfaced last week. The lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing described the studio behind games like World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch as fostering a “frat boy” culture and a breeding ground for “harassment and discrimination against women.” However, it also mentioned men weren’t exempt from sexual harassment, either.

The open letter from Ubisoft staff, mentioned in full by Axios Gaming reporter Stephen Totillo, called on Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard management to make some real, fundamental changes. Ubisoft staff also made it clear where they stand: right alongside Activision Blizzard employees. “We hear you and want to loudly declare our solidarity with you.” They stated in the letter. “Over the past week, the games industry has once again been rocked by revelations that have long been known by too many of us. Revelations that a year ago many were hearing about Ubisoft.”

The full letter (which still continues to grow in signatures) can be seen and read here.

The letter mentions that Ubisoft has also been dealing with its own reckoning since last summer, largely due to the same problems that have plagued the work culture at Activision Blizzard. However, as seen by the open letter, there are more than just one or two Ubisoft employees that feel as though the toxic culture rampant there has not been dealt with effectively. As expressed through a Ubisoft organizer (seen via Eurogamer) of the open letter “morale and trust” at the studio is “low.”

In a response to the letter, CEO of Ubisoft Yves Guillemot told staff in an email last night that there had been major improvements implemented, such as “anonymous reporting tools, revamped HR processes” and a new code of conduct.

However, the same organizer that talked to Eurogamer mentioned that while there has indeed been huge restructuring going on (internally) at the studio, it’s “hypocritical of management to say that they’re working on it while still harboring, protecting, permitting, and shuffling around known toxic and abusive people to other positions of power.”

Other Ubisoft staff mentioned that Guillemot’s response was “exhausting, frustrating and it’s counter to the messaging they give us.”

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