Ubisoft’s been on a bit of an upper management cull lately, what with the higher echelons of the company being dragged into the spotlight for allegedly gross behaviour behind the scenes. Hunters have been tranquilising the staff with pink slips and voluntary resignations before they could do even more damage to the brand, rounding them up and releasing them back into the wild amidst numerous claims of workplace harassment.
Ubisoft started their hunt by suspending executives Tommy Francois and Maxime Beland (who resigned shortly afterwards), while Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, Managing Director of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios Yannis Mallat, and Global Head of HR Cécile Cornet also chucked in their resignations not too long afterwards.
Apparently the most misogynistic of executives to work under, the gang’s toxic influence could be felt not only in the Ubisoft workplace but also in the games that the company was producing at the time, with a new report from Bloomberg’s Jason Schrier claiming that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey would have featured Kassandra as the solitary lead until Hascoët said “women don’t sell.”
“Among many details I learned while reporting this piece: the developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey wanted Kassandra to be the only playable lead, but Ubisoft’s marketing team and creative lead Serge Hascoët wouldn’t allow it,” Schreier tweeted. “Women don’t sell, they said.”
Hascoët’s influence reached back across multiple Assassin’s Creed games where the staff pushed for a female protagonist (Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation managed to have a female lead albeit for a more limited PS Vita game), with the executive intentionally downgrading Evie Frye in favour of her brother in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Assassin’s Creed Origins was meant to give Aya a more prominent role once Bayek died inside of that game, but Hascoët flexed his managerial muscles to instead keep Bayek alive just so that Aya would have less importance in the overall story.
This year’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is once again going for the duel protagonist route, but with a neat twist: You can choose which Eivor you want to be, whenever you want to swap skins.
Last Updated: July 22, 2020