Home Gaming Ubisoft’s having another bad day over fresh misconduct allegations and baffling Assassin’s Creed decisions

Ubisoft’s having another bad day over fresh misconduct allegations and baffling Assassin’s Creed decisions

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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

19 Comments

  1. Well in his defense, what Hascoët obviously meant when he said “women don’t sell” was that women don’t sell if they don’t get their tits out, which is completely… um… worse. Never mind.

    Reply

    • True FF Fan

      July 22, 2020 at 19:53

      but it’s 100% true. unless the chic is a piece of busty sexualized meat with her tits almost falling out of her top, then I won’t buy the game. Women are annoying and they spoil everything they come in contact with, so of course they didn’t want a female lead. A company’s goal is to make money, not pretend to be p.c., go woke get broke is a real thing.

      Reply

      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        July 23, 2020 at 11:58

        Hahaha you poor thing

        Reply

    • d0x360

      July 24, 2020 at 18:43

      What are you talking about? Nobody actually cares if you play as a man or a woman and they certainly don’t require a female to show her boobs. What a ridiculously out of touch statement.

      Anyone who says otherwise is trolling. One of the highest rated games in years is horizon zero dawn… No big boobs.. no showing boobs and it had a female lead.

      Modern tomb raider.. no big boobs, no showing of boobs.. female lead.

      Life is strange…

      I could go on and on and on.

      Just because some game execs are idiots and assholes doesn’t mean the entire industry is that way and you people in your echo chambers doesn’t mean the industry is that way.

      You have confirmation bias, you use strawman arguments and you ignore anyone who disagrees so of course you are going to come to stupid conclusions like a game with a woman will only sell if there are boobs.

      Also btw… The majority of gamers are adults. What’s wrong with adult themes in games? It’s ok for every other entertainment medium but not games?

      Give me a break.

      Reply

  2. MechMachine

    July 22, 2020 at 13:52

    Sho, This is sanitized compared to what old Sterling had to say. So Ubisoft are not so harmless.

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      July 22, 2020 at 14:02

      Yeah he didn’t hold back, and if you read the Bloomberg report you’ll understand why. The shit these guys did & were allowed to get away with is insane.

      Reply

      • MechMachine

        July 22, 2020 at 14:07

        Yeah, It’s all rather shocking, especially when you see how old some of them are. You expect better.

        Reply

  3. Son of Banana Jim

    July 23, 2020 at 21:33

    The more I read about this the more I think this is a non-issue from Screier. I was kind of hoping that now that he’s at Bloomberg, he’d take his journalism seriously again, but I guess that Kotaku-tier shit stirring is hard to drop.

    But seriously, the racist comment about Boyega from the Ubisoft guys is a lot more damning. Strange that that hasn’t caused as much outrage? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Reply

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