“As I get older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just look at what they’re doing.” This quote is given to the American steel entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie attributed, but this most likely uttered this in another language. No matter who ultimately said it, many will probably agree with that statement.
Acting louder than speaking is what we have seen lately in the video game industry in particular. For example, recently the reaction of Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, criticized on the current allegations. This would ignore the various problems within the company and instead just talk his way out of it with empty promises without actual changes happening.
Yves Guillemot, the CEO of Ubisoft, has now received a similar accusation. As a sign of solidarity with the Blizzard employees, numerous Ubisoft employees have written an open letter to their management. More than 1,000 current and former employees are said to have signed this by now.
The letter, which was also addressed to CEO Yves Guillemot, calls for drastic changes in connection with abuse in the workplace at Ubisoft. Guillemot responded to this letter with an email that was sent to all Ubisoft employees. Stephen Totilo shared this on Twitter.
The same statements can be read in the new statement that the CEO made in the past. As already in May of this year Guillemot reiterates that the company has been “has made some important advances”. He also reiterates that they take these problems very seriously, but that any major change takes time.
A company-wide survey is to start at the end of 2021 and one in the third quarter of this year “HR Roadmap” to be published. At the end of the statement, Guillemot offers each employee to personally contact him or other people in company management.
The group behind the open letter was not satisfied with the CEO’s reaction and spoke up again to GamesIndustry.biz. According to them, most of their points were not addressed in the email at all and the internal machinations do not seem to match the public statements.
For example, one member of the group explains that Ubisoft will continue to “Protected known perpetrators and helped them to other positions of power within the company”. ZIn addition, they state that “An invitation to contact management staff personally is not the same as a collective seat at the table”.
Only a few days ago, Ubisoft was reported in France for systemic abuse of employees and in the past reports from the Ubisoft environment have repeatedly appeared in which employees have drawn attention to the conditions in the company. The group is therefore waiting for one “full answer” on the part of Ubisoft and request “real, fundamental changes within Ubisoft and the industry as a whole”. The group looks forward to an answer, which one “Addressed all of the problems mentioned and correctly recognized our demands.”
Another member of the group told GamesIndustry:
“It’s exhausting and frustrating. We can’t be happy or satisfied with this hypocrisy. For every person who signed, there are numerous others who were too afraid of it. Get better or keep losing good people.”“
The Ubisoft employees want a collaboration of the entire industry, through which new basic rules and processes can be determined how such acts are handled in the future.
“Ubisoft has the chance to be at the forefront of creating a brighter future for the video game industry by being the first to start this collaboration.”
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