Throughout 2020, news regarding Ubisoft was dominated by stories of sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct, with many allegations being made against the company and several prominent employees. Ubisoft seemed almost incapable of shaking itself free from the controversy and CEO Yves Guillemot eventually revealed plans to prevent this sort of abuse from happening in the workplace in the future. That was in October and, since then, Ubisoft has reportedly done very little to address the issues.
According to an investigation by French outlet Le Télégramme, as translated by GamesIndustry.biz, while Guillemot's promised changes were put in place – which included refocusing and strengthening Ubisoft's HR department, and at least 20,000 staff members being given half-day training – they haven't made much of an actual impact. In fact, there have been more cases of harassment since last summer, but those who reported the cases were side-lined in December.
What's more, while some Ubisoft executives accused of harassment were suspended, including vice presidents Tommy François and Maxime Béland, some key staff members have held onto their positions despite being hit with multiple abuse allegations. Florent Castelnérac, for example, is still head of Ubisoft-owned studio Nadeo despite a dozen employees accusing him of harassment. A union representative even claimed that management was protecting him.
One source from Canada said that nothing has changed since Christophe Derennes took over as head of Ubisoft Montréal (who, it should be noted, is also Guillemot's cousin), and Hughes Ricour, the former managing director at Ubisoft Singapore, continues to work elsewhere within the company. He was previously overseeing multiple projects, including the long-delayed Skull and Bones.
That's not to say there have been no dismissals. Assassin's Creed Valhalla's creative director, Ashraf Ismail, was fired completely following reports that he had attempted to use his position to enter extramarital relations with a fan. On the flip side, however, former head of HR Cécile Cornet has apparently only just left the company, despite agreeing to step down back in July. She has been replaced by chief people officer Anika Grant.
All in all, it's not a good look for Ubisoft, especially as this report comes shortly before the first wave of legal proceedings start. Last July, games workers union Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo asked for people to come forward and provide testimony to help it build a case and launch a lawsuit against Ubisoft. What sort of effect the lawsuit could have on Ubisoft remains to be seen, but it's clear that, while the allegations may have faded from headlines, people haven't forgotten about what happened and are making sure Ubisoft doesn't either.
Digimon Survive is one of the most anticipated games of 2021 with its plan to take the series in a darker direction while still appealing to its core fanbase. Over the years, the Digimon series has explored mature themes and evolved alongside its audience to be marketed towards teenagers and adults. With a number of reboots and sequels to the original series, Digimon has plenty of callbacks for its original audience now that they're grown up.
Although Digimon Survive is a brand new adventure, fans of the original Digimon Adventure might notice a few Easter eggs throughout the game. Fans quickly noticed a reference in Digimon Survive's opening movie that introduces the cast and setting of the game. Miu, one of the main characters in Digimon Survive, can be heard humming a familiar tune and it's instantly recognizable for fans of the original Digimon Adventure series.
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