After the open letter signed by about 500 current and former Ubisoft employees, wanting to support the struggles of their Activision Blizzard colleagues while also pointing out the shortcomings of their own company, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot replied with an internal email. shared on Twitter by Axios journalist Stephen Totilo. The response shows that a new update on the company’s ongoing plans to revamp HR and D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) will be communicated sometime in the third quarter of 2021.
As many of you know, an open letter was published yesterday, signed by current and former Ubisoft team members. For those of you who haven’t seen it, you can find the article here along with our external statement. This letter expressed strong support for the developers of Activision Blizzard and advocated for large-scale change within our industry. It also raised concerns about Ubisoft and our culture. We have reviewed this letter as a leadership team and we take seriously the issues it raises. For this reason, I personally want to reiterate our commitment to creating real and lasting change at Ubisoft.
We have taken important steps in the past year. Since last summer, we’ve implemented new anonymous reporting tools, revamped our HR processes, including new global policies to prevent and control discrimination, retaliation and harassment, installed a new code of conduct, rolled out mandatory training, established a content review group, and new leadership in major studios , HR, D&I, editing and production. These are important steps forward, but this is a long process and much work remains to be done.
Yesterday’s letter expresses concerns from employees who want to make Ubisoft a better place. We learned clearly from this letter that not everyone has confidence in the processes in place to manage reports of misconduct. This is a top priority for Anika who continues to ensure they are robust and independent. In addition to our current processes, we are currently looking for a new VP Global Employee Relations.
I have always valued free speech at Ubisoft and I believe it is key for us. That’s why we launched over 300 listening sessions with 1500+ team members last year, as well as the company-wide survey and global audit. The feedback from these initiatives has been invaluable in moving our plan forward, and we will be offering new sessions for all of you to share additional thoughts and feedback on these topics. A new company-wide survey (formerly known as Express Yourself) will be launched before the end of the year. We will also continue to strengthen our Employee Resource Group (ERG) network by creating greater visibility and leadership support to keep bringing new ideas and initiatives to the table.
You can expect another update in the third quarter, including next steps on the Values Project, D&I and our HR roadmap. I encourage you to keep sharing your feedback and experiences; you can contact me personally, speak to your management or share comments about Mana. Myself and the entire leadership team are committed to building a better Ubisoft for all of us.
However, the group of developers who signed the aforementioned letter have already responded to Guillemot’s response and they are far from satisfied. GamesIndustry.biz reports: the following quote:
Most of our demands were sidelined and some of our points appear to have been addressed. We are aware that the company has made some improvements and we are pleased to hear that Yves and the leadership team agree that this is not enough.
However, Ubisoft continues to protect and promote known perpetrators and their allies. We see that management continues to avoid this problem. It’s also worth clarifying that an invitation to personally contact senior management is not the same as sitting down at the table together.
By being the first to enter this partnership, Ubisoft has the opportunity to lead the way in creating a brighter future for the gaming industry. We require this work to be done in collaboration with employees at all levels.
We want to see real, fundamental change within Ubisoft and across the industry for the benefit of our members. Again, we look forward to a response that addresses all issues raised and duly acknowledges our demands.
We can only hope that both Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard will work seriously to address the feedback from so many employees to improve the workplace for everyone.
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