Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot made an online statement earlier this week, apologizing for past and present employees for its numerous cases of sexual abuse and workplace toxicity.
Guillemot’s apology also came before the Ubisoft Forward live stream, while the studio claims there wasn’t enough time to include the segment before their lineup of game announcements and trailers. The four minute video discusses staff who violated their codes of conduct and plans for investment and diversity, with over $1 million towards graduate programs.
“I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt,” Guillemot said, adding that the company is taking steps in representing women and POC to grow the studio. “We are at the start of a long journey. Real change will take time. But I am determined to do everything in my power to ensure everyone at Ubisoft feels welcome, respected, and safe. And to rebuild the trust our teams, fans, and players have in us.”
Guillemot also addressed the recent controversy surround its mobile Elite Squad, which showed the fist symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement as the insignia for the game’s main villains. “Unfortunately, one of our recent mobile games included content that was inappropriate,” Guillemot stated. “This kind of oversight cannot happen. We are putting in place safeguards to prevent it in the future. We condemn anyone using our games as a proxy for hate or toxicity.”
The trailer was taken down by Ubisoft, while the logo was reworked. The final build of Elite Squad would also patch out the fist, shown on the game’s enemy organization Umbra. Ubisoft is also making a donation to the NAACP in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Users on social media questioned the studio for leaving the segment out of the Ubisoft Forward live stream, while a response stated “timing constraints” lead to Guillemot’s video being published as an individual post online. They also promised to include it in re-edits from the latest Forward live stream before the lineup of games and trailers.