Ubisoft Employee Group Gives Update 200 Days After Open Letter Calling for Change
The employee group A Better Ubisoft released a statement Tuesday saying the demands it made of management in an open letter 200 days ago have yet to be met.
A Better Ubisoft formed in summer 2021 in response to a public reckoning with toxic management and sexual harassment at the company. The group advocates for improved working conditions at Ubisoft, and despite a promise from Ubisoft CEO that he would do "everything in my power to ensure that everyone... feels welcomed, respected, and safe," ABU says the company has fallen short.
According to ABU, Ubisoft's chief people officer Anika Grant released an internal video with the results of an employee satisfaction survey taken by staff from around Ubisoft's many globally distributed offices. The survey in question had over 40 questions, with room for comments under each.
"In the video, Anika stressed that one of the main areas of concern from the survey was the desire for more transparency and accountability from management," reads ABU's latest open letter. "However, at eight minutes long this video was not only very brief but incredibly opaque, with the entire survey summarized as six talking points: three positive and three negative. Released on a Friday via email, with no accompanying Mana or Arcade post that employees expect. This not only makes it hard to find, but also makes it hard to comment and discuss our concerns."
ABU said the talking points were presented without numbers.
"Instead there were vague statements like 'you told us...' or 'we heard from you....'" This gives employees no way of knowing whether the statement that 'you have managers who are approachable and supportive' means that 95% [of employees] feel this way or 51% – starkly different outcomes."
Although Grant said the survey found 71% of employees feel comfortable being themselves at work, ABU said the struggle of those who didn't feel comfortable was under-appreciated. It also criticized the video for saying many of the positive responses were "above the external benchmarks for general industry provided by Glint" without providing any context for these benchmarks.
"Concluding the presentation, Anika asserted that the 'data analysis is far from done'. She said that most importantly she intends to 'really dig in to understand feedback from minority and under-represented voices.'
"However, this survey collected no global data to dig into any deeper than the legally required and already available age and binary gender data. We are aware of work being done to address this failing at some point in the future, but this should have been implemented years ago.
"We're tired of having to repeatedly explain these seemingly obvious points to a management team who are either accidentally ignorant or simply don't want to listen. We push on because we care about our work. We care about the people we work with, the games we make, and we desperately want to repair this company," ABU said.
The group went on to reiterate its key demands, which remain unchanged:
- Stop promoting and moving known offenders from studio to studio, team to team with no repercussions. This cycle needs to end.
- We want a collective seat at the table, to have a meaningful say in how Ubisoft as a company moves forward from here.
- Cross-industry collaboration, to agree on a set of ground rules and processes that all studios can use to handle these offenses in the future
- This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives.
Those who want to support the effort can sign a petition distributed by ABU. Ubisoft management has yet to respond to the latest open letter.