Ubisoft employees open public petition seeking support for reform demands

(Image credit: Eric Thomas (Getty Images))

Last week, the Ubisoft employee group A Better Ubisoft criticized the slow pace of change at the company, especially when compared to that of Activision. Now, presumably to ramp up the pressure on Ubisoft management to accede to its demands, employees are seeking support from the public. 

"You disappoint us, [Ubisoft CEO Yves] Guillemot," the group tweeted. "100 days. Zero demands met. Surely you can do better than this."

The 100 days is a reference to an open letter, signed by Ubisoft employees and sent to management in July, that laid out four specific demands that have so far gone unmet:

  • Stop promoting and moving known offenders from studio to studio, team to team with no repercussions. This cycle needs to end.   
  • We want a collective seat at the table, to have a meaningful say in how Ubisoft as a company moves forward from here.   
  • Cross-industry collaboration, to agree on a set of ground rules and processes that all studios can use to handle these offenses in the future.   
  • This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives.

This new missive is open to everyone rather than just Ubisoft employees, and reflects growing frustration with a lack of action from Ubisoft leadership, which was thrown into sharp relief by Activision's relatively rapid reaction to its own employee demands for reform.

"16 months since Ubisoft was forced to take limited action following public posts on Twitter, you talk about 'a strategic roadmap of change for HR' that you are 'getting ready to start rolling out' giving no timeline for delivery or any hint of what those changes will be," A Better Ubisoft tweeted last week.

"Only yesterday Activision Blizzard committed to increase their number of women and non-binary workers by 50% within five years... In just three months it seems that they have listened to the concerns of employees and acted on them."

Along with the promise to increase the percentage of women and non-binary employees, Activision also waived mandatory arbitration on sexual harassment and discrimination claims, promised improved pay transparency, and committed to investing $250 million into game and tech-related diversity initiatives.

By comparison, Ubisoft's most recent move occurred in September, when it made Igor Manceau its new chief creative officer. Manceau replaced Serge Hascoët, who stepped down last year amidst allegations of workplace misconduct and harassment. 

A Better Ubisoft criticized the process leading into Manceau's appointment when it happened, releasing a statement saying that it happened "without insight on Yves' [Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO] promise to redefine the leadership of the editorial department and avoid having a singular creative officer."

I've reached out to Ubisoft for comment on the call for public support and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.