Five former Ubisoft employees, including former chief creative officer Serge Hascoët and former editoral head Tommy François, have been taken into custody by French police with regard to allegations of sexual misconduct during their time at the publisher. That's according to an article in French newspaper Libération (via Eurogamer) which echoes allegations from French videogame union Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo, posted on Xitter just this morning.
"This Tuesday, October 2, several former Ubisoft executives were taken into custody and questioned by police as part of the investigation into the company's systemic sexual harassment," the SIJV Xitter thread begins. I asked Ubisoft about the union's claims earlier today, and was told by a representative that "Ubisoft has no knowledge of what has been shared and therefore can't comment."
The reported police intervention follows allegations of widespread sexual harassment and abuse at several Ubisoft studios, which began to surface in summer 2020. These included allegations of rape, bullying and racist and homophobic jokes. One creative director was said to have choked a female employee at a party. In this week's Xitter thread, SIJV accused the publisher's leadership of "allowing harassment to flourish, because it was considered more profitable for the company to leave predators in place than to protect employees."
The allegations led to a wave of departures, as Ubisoft carried out an internal investigation. François was placed on disciplinary leave on 7th July 2020, while Hascoët together with global HR head Cécile Cornet and Yannis Mallat, manager of Ubisoft's Canadian studios, resigned on 12th July 2020.
"We have significant work to do to improve the ways in which we operate and collaborate, and I am personally committed to ensuring we make these fundamental changes," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said at the time. "They need to be profound, and we need to implement them quickly at all levels of the organisation."