Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ubisoft executive resigns following allegations of abuse and assault

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Ubisoft director Maxime Beland has resigned from his editorial position following charges of assault and sexual harassment. Beland had previously been suspended pending an internal investigation, and the investigation continues despite his departure.

Ubisoft confirmed Beland’s resignation in a statement to GameSpot, adding that Vice President of Editorial and Creative Services Tommy François has been placed on disciplinary leave while a second investigation is underway and that an Ubisoft Toronto employee has been fired.

Andrien Gbinigie, Watch Dogs brand and product marketer, who was charged with sexual assault in June, worked at Ubisoft in Toronto. However, Ubisoft has not confirmed whether he is the employee in question.

“Ubisoft will not tolerate professional misconduct and will continue to take disciplinary action against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination and other behavior that violates our Fair Code of Conduct,” added the company.

Beland returned to Ubisoft in early 2020 after briefly moving to Epic Games. Previously, he was Creative Director at Ubisoft Toronto. His projects included Splinter Cell Conviction and Splinter Cell Blacklist, as well as support work on the Far Cry series.

CEO Yves Guillemot announced this week that the company will undergo a structural change in order to change its corporate culture, including the appointment of a new corporate culture manager as well as the use of an external consulting firm to review its procedures.

The news is the latest in a growing list of departures resulting from allegations of sexual abuse in the gaming industry. Evo Online, a fighting games tournament already replacing the canceled Evo 2020, was abandoned this week after the dismissal of President Joey Cuellar for alleged abuse of underage boys.

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