In July 2021, hundreds of Ubisoft employees signed an open letter calling on company leadership to respond to four demands, including a “collective voice on how Ubisoft is moving forward as a company.” 200 days have passed and there doesn’t seem to be any progress. In a statement released yesterday, the A Better Ubisoft employee group said its demands remained unmet and company leaders “refused to participate”.
The statement describes an internal video released by Ubisoft Chief People Officer Anika Grant purportedly to share the results of a “global employee satisfaction survey.” According to A Better Ubisoft, the survey has more than 40 questions, each of which allows for individual comment, but the internal video is only 8 minutes long and offers only 6 “talking points.” The group said it did not include any numbers other than engagement and engagement scores.
“It’s replaced by vague statements like ‘You told us…’ or ‘We heard from you…’,” Better Ubisoft said. “It makes it impossible for employees to know whether the phrase ‘you have an approachable and helpful manager’ means 95% or 51% of people feel that way — a completely different outcome.
“We were told in the video that some of the positive responses were ‘above the general industry external benchmarks provided by Glint’. But no context was given for those benchmarks, what they were and what they represented.”
200 days after our open letter, we have the following statement. 2/4 #EndAbuseInGaming #ABetterUbisoft pic.twitter.com/nywe5eadHiFebruary 14, 2022
Grant said the analysis was incomplete, and she intends to “give insight into feedback from minority and underrepresented voices.” But A Better Ubisoft said the data collected by the survey did not contain anything worthy of further study, other than just “legally required and already available age and binary gender data”. The group added that steps were clearly being taken to improve the data collected by the survey, “but this should have been implemented a few years ago”.
The group also reiterated its request to “stay the same.”
- Stop promoting and transferring known violators between studios and teams without impact. This cycle needs to end.
- We want a collective seat to have a meaningful say in how Ubisoft as a company moves forward from here.
- Collaborate across industries to agree on a set of ground rules and processes that all studios can use to address these violations in the future.
- This cooperation must involve large numbers of employees and union representatives in non-management positions.
In contrast to Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard’s leadership was quick to respond to requests from its employees after receiving reports of widespread discrimination and sexual harassment at the company. The situation is far from resolved, and Activision Blizzard continues to resist union efforts (and progress is being made anyway), but it has more acknowledgment of its employees’ demands and commitment to taking action on them than Ubisoft employees can say.
“We’re tired of having to repeatedly explain these seemingly obvious points to management teams who either don’t know or simply don’t want to hear them,” Ubisoft’s better statement concluded. “We keep going because we care about what we do. We care about the people we work with, the games we make, and we desperately want to fix this company.”
In August 2021, A Better Ubisoft said 1,000 current and former Ubisoft employees An open letter to the company has been signed.According to Ubisoft’s official website, it employs more than 19,000 people worldwide. A Better Ubisoft was launched alongside the eponymous Activision Blizzard staff to focus on the company’s North American studio. Ubisoft plans to hold its quarterly financial conference call on February 17.