Ubisoft fires Assassin’s Creed creative director after misconduct claims
Ubisoft Entertainment SA has dismissed the creative director of the newest Assassin’s Creed game, the latest result of a MeToo reckoning at the French video game publisher that has been swirling for two months.
Ashraf Ismail, the director of this fall’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, was accused by a fan in June of lying about his marital status in order to have a relationship with her.
Shortly afterward, Ismail wrote on Twitter that he had stepped down from his role, adding that he was “deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this,” but he remained an Ubisoft employee. The publisher informed staff this week that he was dismissed.
“As a result of investigations, Ashraf Ismail has been dismissed from Ubisoft and is no longer an employee,” an Ubisoft spokesman confirmed to Bloomberg. Ismail didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In late June, dozens of people, mostly women, spoke out on social media about their experiences facing sexual harassment and assault in the video game and streaming industries.
Many of those accusations centered on Ubisoft, which has since faced scrutiny for what many described as a “boys’ club” culture.
Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot has promised big changes. In interviews with Businessweek, more than three dozen current and former Ubisoft employees painted the picture of a company that had been aware of many of these allegations for years.
Since the allegations emerged, Ubisoft has also parted ways with top executives Tommy François and Maxime Béland as well as several other employees in lower positions. Last month, the company pushed out Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, one of the most powerful people at Ubisoft.
Ismail spent 11 years at Ubisoft in Montreal and also directed two previous Assassin’s Creed games, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag in 2013 and Assassin’s Creed Origins in 2017.