Ubisoft has fired Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail following an investigation over sexual misconduct allegations. Though Ismail was asked to step down from his role in June 2020, the company launched a probe following a wave of sexual abuse stories shared online and included several high-profile Ubisoft executives.
According to Kotaku, a company notice was made to Ubisoft Montreal employees over Ismail’s termination by “an external firm.” The case looked at the accusations made by several women who claimed Ismail lied about his martial status to initiate relationships. Ismail, who worked on other Assassin’s Creed games including Origins and Black Flag, later announced on June 24, 2020 he would be leaving his position to deal with “personal issues” in relation to the wave of social media stories.
“The lives of my family and my own are shattered,” Ismail tweeted earlier late June in response to the widespread allegations. “There are hundreds of talented, passionate people striving to build an experience for you that do not deserve to be associated with this. I wish them all the best.”
The massive wave of sexual assault cases spanned from hundreds of survivors from the game industry, including notable content creators and former staff who shared detailed stories about their encounters with alleged offenders. Stories were also written in long form across platforms such as Twitter, Medium and TwitLong while circulating through online user Jessy Quil. For Ubisoft, their internal investigation also appointed a Head of Workplace Culture and safe-space meetings for staff to attend.
Several other Ubisoft staff including VPs Maxime Béland and Tommy François were also put on administrative leave across the month while CEO Yves Guillemot made a public apology to staff across its Toronto, Montreal and French studios.