Longtime Ubisoft leader Igor Manceau has been promoted to the role of chief creative officer, filling a vacancy at the top of the company that's remained empty since the July 2020 departure of Serge Hascoët.
Manceau previously served as creative director of the extreme sports titles Steep and Riders Republic, both made at Ubisoft Annecy. The role of chief creative officer, largely unique to Ubisoft, will see Manceau "defining and nurturing Ubisoft's overall creative vision and guiding the creative direction of its games so that they are accessible, irresistible, and enriching for all players," per a company press release.
Ubisoft says Manceau will work closely with chief studios operating officer Virginie Haas and chief portfolio officer Sandrine Caloiaro, which could suggest a more collaborative approach to the chief creative officer position.
In the past, the position was one of the three or four most powerful in the company. That power was part of why the departure of its previous occupant, Hascoët, was so surprising. Although he had been named in several reports of misconduct and inappropriate behavior at Ubisoft in the summer of 2020, many doubted he would be removed from the company because of his status and personal closeness with Ubisoft CEO, chairman and co-founder Yves Guillemot.
As monumental as Hascoët's departure was, many Ubisoft employees say not enough has been done to remedy the company's toxic culture. Employee group A Better Ubisoft, which recently delivered a list of demands to Guillemot signed by more than 1,000 staff members, expressed cautious optimism at Manceau's promotion.
"We can only trust that his application and appointment were done so under intense scrutiny due to the actions of his predecessor," the group wrote in a statement. "However, those actions need to be addressed and we hope to see Igor taking meaningful steps to repair the damage done by his predecessor."
The group highlighted that the members of the creative team at Ubisoft remain uniformly white and of "uniform cultural backgrounds."
"We look forward to working with the new CCO, Igor Manceau, to create A Better Ubisoft and hope that he is willing to work closely with employees and ERGs to do this."