Ubisoft sued in France over alleged 'institutional harassment'

A union claims Ubisoft's system tolerates harassers for the sake of convenience.

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Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot speaks on stage at the Ubisoft E3 press conference in Los Angeles, June 10, 2019. - The E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 11-13. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Ubisoft is facing new legal action over alleged sexual harassment throughout the company. Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun report that French workers union Solidaires Informatiques and two former Ubisoft staffers have sued the game developer for allegedly enabling a culture of "institutional sexual harassment." It was supposedly easier for Ubisoft to tolerate misconduct than to address problems, according to the union.

The lawsuit targets several existing and former Ubisoft workers, including former managers Cecile Cornet (head of human resources), Tommy Francois (editorial VP) and Serge Hascoët (global creative director). Company chief Yves Guillemot is also under scrutiny not for direct involvement, but because he's inherently "responsible" for what happens at Ubisoft.

Ubisoft told Kotaku it had "no further details to share" in response to the claim against the gaming giant. It previously said that it had investigated all claims and taken an appropriate response.

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There were already complaints that Ubisoft hadn't fully tackled allegations like these. Bloomberg sources said that accused managers remained in senior positions, and that staff were reporting sexist and racist activity that went unaddressed.

There's no certainty the lawsuit will succeed, let alone force institutional changes at Ubisoft. However, it's evident the company's initial efforts weren't enough to satisfy employees. If the allegations are accurate, Ubi might need to take more drastic steps if it's going to prevent misconduct and the ensuing fallout.

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