Man, Ubisoft has not had an easy time, and for a lot of people, this news is really depressing. But maybe, it’s kind of a good thing that problem actors are being removed, guys. The latest news about Ubisoft comes as the company deals with widespread criticism and fallout from a variety of abuse and sexual misconduct accusations. The latest firing was revealed to be executive Tommy Francois.
The firing of Tommy Francois was revealed in a leaked internal email sent out by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. Business Insider received and reported on the story, which Ubisoft later confirmed. This is just the newest in a string of high-profile departures from the company.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail previously left the company after allegations were made against him engaging in an inappropriate relationship with livestreamer Matronedea, according to the woman on Twitter.
In a tweet, he said, “I am stepping down from my beloved project to properly deal with the personal issues in my life. The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this.” Following the reveal, he said members of the Valhalla team “do not deserve to be associated with this.” The messages were live for a short while, but Ismail has since deleted his account.
Tommy Francois, the vice president of editorial and former creative director, was let go after a month-long period of unpaid leave while the company investigated accusations made against him. The accusations centered around inappropriate comments made to coworkers, as well as unwanted physical contact with female employees.
Francois worked under Serge Hascoet and alongside Maxime Beland, both of whom have since left the company of allegations ranging from shutting down games they didn’t like, to attacking the viability of female representation in games. Of course that’s by no means the breadth of the problems Ubisoft has had in these areas.
Tommy Francois, Serge Hascoet, and Maxime Beland are all big losses for the company in the regard that they had a ton of experience in the industry. But none of that excuses their toxic and abusive behavior. All of this needed to happen, as they clearly stood in the way of making the video game industry more inclusive and diverse. That lack of diversity has likely contributed to the stagnation found in some elements of the industry, so it needed to change.