Ahead of the Ubisoft Forward livestream event, the company’s CEO Yves Guillemot appeared in a special video addressing the recent company scandals and promising more action to combat workplace toxicity and increase diversity within Ubisoft’s ranks.
In a special video message released by Ubisoft before the Ubisoft Forward showcase, Guillemot addressed audiences directly with a message that broadly covers some of the scandals that have hit the company in recent months.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) September 10, 2020
On reports that Ubisoft’s human resources department failed to tackled workplace toxicity, Guillemot apologized to all the victims at the company. “This summer we learned that certain Ubisoft employees did not uphold our company’s values and that our system failed to protect the victims of their behavior. I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt.”
Guillemot says Ubisoft has taken “significant steps” to remove or sanctioned faulty parties. This was previously reported when a wave of top Ubisoft executives have stepped down or left, including Tommy François, Ashraf Ismail, Maxime Béland, Serge Hascoët, Tannis Mallat, and Cécile Cornet.
Guillemot also announced a greater push for diversity in Ubisoft and the games industry. Guillemot says the company will invest an additional $1 million over the next five years into its graduate program which will create opportunities for women and people of color. An additional donation will be made to the NAACP.
He cited a recent controversy where the raised fist imagery was used as the symbol for a terrorist group called Umbra in the mobile game Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad. The raised fist has been historically associated with black liberation movements, most recently Black Lives Matter. Guillemot reaffirmed support for Black Lives Matter and to fighting against racism.
Guillemot ends the video by saying he will personally lead the changes at Ubisoft, which shows he has no intention of stepping down or taking time away from the company during this time.
You can see Guillemot’s full video embedded above, or in a VOD version of the Ubisoft Forward which will premiere at 12 pm PT today. Ubisoft said that due to constraints, Guillemot’s message will not air during the live version of the show.
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.