French police have arrested five former Ubisoft executives after a years-long investigation that began in 2021 following complaints and allegations of sexual assault and harassment within the company, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. Among the five arrested are Ubisoft’s former chief creative officer, Serge Hascoët, and former vice president of editorial and creative services, Tommy François.
The publication learned of these arrests after French newspaper Libération reported that three former Ubisoft executives were arrested yesterday, with two more arrested today.
The summer of 2020 marked a turning point within Ubisoft after numerous reports surfaced regarding abuse, misconduct, and power corruption happening within the company. Various executives and managers, including François, were fired as a result; Hascoët voluntarily resigned.
At the time, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot announced he was leading the company’s charge for the investigations, later publicly publishing results of a recent internal employee survey. That survey revealed that more than 25 percent of employees at the company witnessed or experienced first-hand misconduct at work. A disproportionate number of the employees who reported misconduct were either non-binary or women, but men at the company were also vocal about witnessing misconduct.
Even though various executives, like François, Ashraf Ismail, and Maxime Beland, were fired, with others voluntarily stepping down like Hascoët, a 2021 report revealed that many Ubisoft employees were unhappy with how leadership at the company handled its “Me Too” moment.
In the summer of 2021, the Paris-based Solidaires Informatique union and two victims filed complaints with police, as noted by GamesIndustry.biz. Years later, French police have arrested François, Hascoët, and three more individuals. The arrests and the subsequent case is being handled by the Bobigny district of Paris.
GamesIndustry.biz notes that the plaintiff’s lawyer, Maude Beckers, told Libération that the case goes beyond individual behavior and “reveals systemic sexual violence.” A Ubisoft spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz that “Ubisoft has no knowledge of what has been shared and therefore can’t comment.”
Game Informer will update this story if it learns more about this ongoing case.