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Ubisoft fires Assassin's Creed Valhalla's former creative director

(Image credit: Ubisoft)
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Ashraf Ismail, Assassin's Creed Valhalla (opens in new tab)'s former creative director, has been fired by Ubisoft following an investigation apparently carried out by an external company. 

In June, Ismail stepped down (opens in new tab) from the creative director role after he was accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a fan and lying about his marital status. Streamer Matronedea came forward about their relationship on Twitter (opens in new tab) and explained that she was with him on and off for a year before she found out that he was married. 

The publisher announced that it was launching an investigation into Ismail's conduct, as well as several other Ubisoft executives who had been accused of abuse and misconduct, a few days later. In an internal email obtained by Kotaku (opens in new tab), Ubisoft told staff that his employment had been terminated yesterday, but didn't offer more information.

"Following an investigation by an external firm, it was determined that Ashraf’s employment with Ubisoft had to be terminated," read the email. "We cannot provide any details about this confidential investigation."

Since Ubisoft started the investigations, several executives have been given the boot, while others have been allowed to slink away. Earlier in the month, VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François (opens in new tab) left the company, allegedly because he was fired, and in July Ubisoft announced (opens in new tab) that chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, the managing director of Ubisoft's Canadian studios Yannis Mallat and global head of human resources Cécile Cornet had resigned. 

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has promised a "structural shift (opens in new tab)" to tackle workplace abuse and the failure of human resources to to curb inappropriate behaviour, but shortly after that he dodged the blame (opens in new tab) and implied that he too was a victim because they "betrayed the trust" he placed in them.

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.