Ubisoft Quebec has come under fire for hiring Jonathan Dumont as its creative director on the next Assassin’s Creed game.
Ubisoft recently announced a slew of new Assassin’s Creed games at its Ubisoft Forward presentation event.
One of the announced titles, Assassin’s Creed codename Project Red, will be set in Japan. However, the lead director for that game is Mr Dumont, the creative director for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey who was accused of toxic workplace behaviour and harassment in 2020.
At the time, website Game Developer reported that a number of Ubisoft employees had come forward with allegations that Mr Dumont was “abusive and controlling.”
Many anonymous workers in the report stated that he was verbally abusive, used offensive terms and homophobic slurs, punched walls and threw objects around the room.
“He is very narcissistic and overall a major bully,” said an anonymous source. “[He] pushes people to the edge of their mental health regularly, and tries to justify his behaviour by saying ‘this is how you get things done.’
“[He makes] various misogynistic and homophobic comments, and when he’s called out on them will come out with defences like ‘my mother left my father when she realised she was a lesbian, so I know what I am talking about.’”
It has since been reported by TheGamer that many developers have asked not to work on Assassin’s Creed Project Red because of Mr Dumont, and some are leaving Ubisoft altogether.
“Dumont has been the reason [for] multiple of my colleagues leaving,” a member of “A Better Ubisoft” — a worker-advocacy initiative within Ubisoft — told TheGamer.
“Be it because of sexual advances, belittlement, fear of him, or having seen his behaviour when in a bad mood. His outbursts have created a climate of fear known for years in the studio and failed to be acted on for a long time.”
This comes as Ubisoft held a briefing in Paris last week to discuss its plans to combat toxic workplace environments.
“We want to ensure an inclusive, rewarding and respectful workplace for all,” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said.
“Yes, we stumbled. And we have acknowledged that. We learned a lot along the way, and have made meaningful progress with concrete action plans led by our leaders together with Anika Grant, our chief people officer, and Raashi Sika, our VP of diversity and inclusion.
“Our goal is to offer the best working environment for them to thrive and reach their full potential.
“In a context of [a] great reshuffle, we want to build one unique employee value proposition and bring changes whenever needed.”
— written by Junior Miyai on behalf of GLHF