Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot remains confident that the publisher has "done a lot" to improve the working culture and claims that, considering the actions that Ubisoft has already taken, it is a company that "can be proud of itself."
During a recent event in Paris, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot once again addressed the allegations of toxic workplace culture at the company noting that Ubisoft is making efforts to "ensure an inclusive, rewarding and respectful workplace for all."
In an interview with GamesIndusry.biz, the head of the company reiterated that the company is working on the issues and explained what actions it does so that the situation "could never happen again."
Speaking of the 2020's allegations when Ubisoft was accused of harboring abusers, Guillemot shared that "it was a shock" for the company "when it first happened." According to him, the company was sure it was "doing the right thing" but realized that "there were a certain number of things [it] should change."
Guillemot noted that Ubisoft started taking necessary measures, like cutting jobs of those who were involved in misconduct and taking actions on other fronts, shortly after the company got aware of the issues.
"We introduced systems so that people can anonymously say if something is not working, and that would go to an independent company that could analyse what was going on, investigate and find solutions," he said. "We have really looked at all the things that existed and looked at solving them the best way we could."
In a recent interview with Assassin's Creed fan group AC Sisterhood, however, A Better Ubisoft, the group of current and former Ubisoft employees who campaign for change in the company, claimed that the efforts the publisher has done are not enough. According to them, there are still people in the company who were involved in misconduct or people who protected abusers, with some of them not only remaining at Ubisoft but even being promoted.
Guillemot, meanwhile, still remains confident that the publisher has "done a lot" to improve the working culture, and considering the actions that Ubisoft has already taken, it is a company that "can be proud of itself." He, however, admitted that the company "can always do better" and noted that it is listening to those who say what should be fixed and appreciates those people's advice as it is helping Ubisoft "to do better."
"We are open to criticisms, and when they are valid points, we go after them to solve them. Ubisoft takes all allegations extremely seriously," Guillemot said. "While I can’t comment on specific cases, I can assure you that any team member who has been named in a report and remains at Ubisoft has had their case rigorously reviewed and has either been cleared, or has been appropriately disciplined and given an individualised action plan to support and monitor their progress."
In the wake of the allegations, Guillemot himself was also accused of tolerating toxic behavior, with some people wondering why he has not stepped down as CEO and why he is the one who leads the company's recovery efforts.
Addressing this issue, Guillemot stated that "one of the things that initially made Ubisoft so successful was the very positive experiences of most of the people" who worked there. So when he realized that the company has some issues, he "very quickly focused on understanding what went wrong" and how he could fix this to return to the point where Ubisoft could once again be "the best place" to work in.
"People had a good experience at Ubisoft. That was our way to recruit people, to say that at Ubisoft you'll be able to be yourself, you'll be surrounded by smart people and you'll be able to create the best games in the industry with lots of freedom," he claimed. "When we realised that that's not what was happening… It was obvious for me to go and take care of that situation, so we could go back to what we have been for a long time."