French police have arrested at least five former and major Ubisoft executives, following an investigation into sexual harassment at the France-based game publisher that began at least three years ago.
In 2020, Ubisoft’s chief operating officer Serge Hascoët resigned from the publisher after numerous reports of sexual misconduct at the company came to light. Other executives, including its VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François, also departed from Ubisoft following similar allegations against them.
Today, the French newspaper Libération reported that both Hascoët and François were arrested this week as part of its ongoing investigation into these issues at Ubisoft. The other three former Ubisoft executives who were arrested this week were not named in the report.
After the executives resigned from Ubisoft in 2020, two unnamed victims of their alleged harassment, along with the Solidaires Informatique union, filed complaints to the public prosecutor’s office in Bobigny. The investigation by the prosecutor led to this week’s arrests.
The newspaper quoted the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Maude Beckers, saying (translated):
In most cases of aggression and harassment, it is a person sometimes covered by their superior, it is not as established as it was at Ubisoft. To the point that we feel like it had become something necessary for creativity.
HR knew all this and systematically suppressed business. What is exceptional in this matter is the complicity of the company’s white-collar workers..
In 2020, Yves Guillemot, co-founder and CEO of Ubisoft, addressed the sexual harassment allegations at that time, stating:
Since late June 2020, allegations of inappropriate behavior and harassment have been made against certain Group employees. The Group reacted immediately and has been carrying out a rigorous inquiry in order to take all the necessary actions.
Today, Gamesindustry.biz got a comment from Ubisoft about the arrests of its former executives stating, “Ubisoft has no knowledge of what has been shared and therefore can’t comment.”