Ubisoft and Insomniac face allegations over mistreatment of women
Update: "We must do better," says Ubisoft, hires external consultants to clean house
Original story, June 24, 2020: Ubisoft and Insomniac Games are under fire after employees both past and present came forward to accuse each company of harbouring abusers.
Ubisoft in particular is facing criticism after dozens of other allegations flew at a number of individuals within the publisher's ranks, such as physical assault, threats of rape, and a racist and homophobic work culture at Ubisoft Sofia.
One former Ubisoft employee accused current product and brand manager Andrien Gbingie of manipulation, emotional abuse, and rape.
Gbinigie denied the allegations in a post on Medium, which has since been suspended and is under investigation for violating the platform's rules. GamesIndustry.biz also approached Gbinigie for comment, but did not receive a response.
"We are deeply concerned by these accusations," a Ubisoft spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz. "We take any allegations of abuse or harassment very seriously and we are looking very closely into the allegations to determine next steps."
Meanwhile, at Insomniac, a former character artist said they left the company because of its widespread mistreatment of women.
"I have a list in the double digits of women who were harmed by the actions of this company -- some so much so that they declined to speak about it to me at all," they said in a post on Twitter.
"Insomniac has throttled careers of great women, left them no option but to 'resign', and protected sexual predators."
In response to the allegations, Insomniac said: "We were aware of the allegations made in a former employee's tweets today and had taken numerous steps to address them. For legal and privacy reasons we will not respond to individual allegations about specific former employees.
"We are a workplace family that has actively promoted diversity, inclusion, representation and equality for our entire existence. We will continue to do so every single day."
This comes amid a wave of allegations sweeping the industry, with prominent RPG writer Chris Avellone, along with high-profile streamers such as Joe Vargas and Tom Cassell.
Update, June 26, 2020: Ubisoft has brought in external consultants as part of its investigation into abuse and bullying at the company.
The publisher announced it will take "appropriate disciplinary action" and has begun an audit of its existing policies, process and systems to ensure it can "better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behaviour."
"We want to start by apologising to everyone affected by this - we are truly sorry," said Ubisoft in a statement.
"We are dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe environment for our teams, players, and communities. It is clear we have fallen short of this in the past. We must do better."