The other day I sat down to edit a review one of my colleagues had written, it was Ghost Recon Breakpoint, a dull shooter published by Ubisoft. As I read over the review, making notes and suggesting possible edits, I noticed that he hadn’t mentioned the recent allegations, which I refer to as such only for legal reasons, I 100% believe that these disgusting fucks are guilty! I assumed that perhaps he wanted to avoid the issue until he had heard from myself or Marty on our official stance. And just so there is no confusion here it is:
“We at N For Nerds whole heartedly believe that Ubisoft are a bunch of slimy rat fucks that knowingly and eagerly protected abusers from any sort of punishment, either from the law or internal reprimand. That these hideous bastards saw no issue with allowing rampant abuse of a sexual nature, a racial nature, a physical nature and a mental nature disgusts us to our very core!”
But it turned out that that wasn’t the case, in actuality he hadn’t heard about it at all, which I thought was weird as it was an abuse case that seemed to be companywide. But I asked around and several of my friends (all gamers) hadn’t heard the news, I was shocked. It turned out bar a few video game news outlets and a handful of YouTubers who were doing their best to get the info out there, for whatever reason it didn’t seem to be reaching as many people as you’d think.(I Typed in Ubisoft abuse and this is what came up…it looks more like promos!)
In case you haven’t heard (and even if you had it’s worth repeating) Ubisoft has covered up rape, sexual misconduct, physical abuse, sexual discrimination and a litany of other offences. So far only a handful of people have resigned or been fired but given the toxic nature of the company and its willingness to protect abusers I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t the last. It’s worth noting that Ubisoft only fired two people, the others were allowed to resign, presumable to protect their stocks, bonuses and moutains of money. And the two that were fired were small time (compared to the others).
Below is a list of those who have been either fired or have resigned from Ubisoft as a result of their shitty behaviour…sorry “alleged” shitty behaviour:
Ashraf Ismail (Fired): Assassin’s Creed creative director: fired for using his position at company to meet a fan, he also cheated on his wife (classy) and blocked many attempts to create female led games. Hmmmmm I’m sensing a pattern with this dirt bag!
Serge Hascoet (Resigned): Ubisoft’s editorial team responsible for all franchises/video games:resigned due to multiple instances of both physical and verbal abuse.
Maxime Beland (Resigned): VP of Ubisoft: sexual misconduct, inappropriate behavior, fostering negative work environment yet allowed to resign somehow.
Tommy Francois (Resigned): VP of editorial/creative services: allowed high-level abuse. “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing”.
Stone Chin (Fired): Ubisoft PR director: Sexual assault and aggressive and disrespectful behaviour to those reporting into him.
The few larger news outlets that do seem to be covering this story seemed to be doing it in a way that’s, well I wouldn’t go as far to say excusing, but they weren’t exactly taking the cane to Ubisoft’s arse either. “Screenrant.com” referred to the abuse as “disappointing”…disappointing???? A late parcel is disappointing; the vending machine being out of your favourite snack is disappointing, a company that protects and rewards abusers while punishing the victims is fucking abhorrent!!
(Read in a snotty voice): “The sexual assault and harassment allegations against Ubisoft are disappointing, but hopefully, the company uses this as an opportunity to implement positive change moving forward.”
Yeah, like not forcing sexual contact on people, that would be a “positive change” wouldn’t it? In Screenrants defence they do list the abusers and their crimes but each paragraph is broken up with promotional material for Ubisoft! They have a paragraph titled “Ubisoft Employees Who Were Called Out”, now you’d think they’d put faces to the names but nope, just a list of Ubisoft games.(Really seems like the abuse is the point doesn’t it?)
You’re probably wondering why I’m ragging on screenrant so much in an article about Ubisoft, and the reason is because their approach to the coverage of the abuse perfectly encapsulates why so many people have moved on or remain oblivious to Ubisoft’s crimes. Because even when a video game publisher is found engaging in rape cover ups, their PR is in full swing demanding we bring it back to the video games. Which unfortunately most news outlets have done, they are now covering Assassins Creed Valhalla, happy to forget that a scumbag who used his position to pursue extra marital relationships, while fostering a misogynistic work environment was attached to the project.
(That’s this dick head in case you forgot!)
Hell, even in the midst of the scandal Ubisoft refused to comment on the “allegations” in their annual showcase, claiming “Because all the content has been pre-recorded, we wanted to recognise that the issues we’re currently dealing with won’t be addressed directly in the show.”. Why not exactly? Have a spokesperson come out and apologise, have a message at the end to at least acknowledge this shit you responsibility dodging bastards!(“Not listening La La La!”)
And of course you have the usual suspects happy to spin the party line, “can’t we just focus on video games!” and the more ambivalent among us are happy to ignore this abuse and “just enjoy video games”, and THAT is exactly what these bastards want! They want to us to shut up and play video games, they want us to consume and comply, all while they go about destroying lives, exalting abusers and raking in incomprehensible amounts of money. And I get it, some people are happy to enjoy a product and ignore those that created it, or enjoy the creation while hating the creator and if that’s you, so be it, you do you, no judgement here.
But until everyone of the accused is punished in a satisfactory manner N for Nerds will no longer be reviewing Ubisoft video games. I know a small website like ours means nothing to a company as massive as they are but I could not in good conscience give these aresholes any kind of promotion.