Ubisoft have removed Hugues Ricour from his position as managing director of their Singapore studio, which is currently developing pirate ship combat game, Skull & Bones. His removal comes after a leadership audit was performed at the company, following allegations of sexual harassment.
According to Kotaku, who’ve seen a copy of an internal email sent to Ubisoft staff, Ricour has been removed from his position “effective immediately”.
“The results of the leadership audit that was conducted in the last few weeks by our external partners makes it impossible for him to continue in this position,” says the email from Virginie Haas, Ubisoft’s chief studios operating officer.
In August, a Gamasutra investigation into workplace abuse at Ubisoft reported that “sexism, racial insensitivity, harassment, and abuse are allegedly a regular occurrence within the Singapore office.” Multiple Gamasutra sources accused Ricour himself of sexual harassment, while Kotaku’s sources claim his management style involved “bullying, demeaning comments, and retaliatory action against those perceived to have stood up to him.”
Ricour isn’t leaving Ubisoft completely. A Ubisoft spokesperson told Kotaku that while he’s leaving the Singapore studio, he’s staying on at the company. They also report the studio will hold a town hall meeting with employees to discuss the former managing director’s removal.
The leadership audit is coming in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination against numerous Ubisoft employees throughout their many studios, including company executives.
Ubisoft revealed Skull & Bones three years ago, and it was originally supposed to come out in 2018 (but it’s been postponed, a lot). In September, the game’s creative director, Elisabeth Pellen, confirmed the game’s development was “in full swing with a new vision”. Ubisoft’s Singapore studio also assist in development of Ubisoft’s other games, including the Assassin’s Creed series.