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A Better Ubisoft gives update on work environment, 200 days after open letter demanded change

"We're tired of having to repeatedly explain these seemingly obvious points."

Following on from an open letter penned 200 days ago, Ubisoft employees have released a new statement saying their demands still haven't been met.

Multiple Ubisoft employees have rallied together to form "The Better Ubisoft" group. This group has been campaigning for improved working conditions since the company was hit with allegations of a toxic work environment last summer. These allegations include numerous stories of sexual harassment and assault concerning multiple employees at the company.

However, even following a vow from Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot stating he would do "everything in [his] power to ensure that everyone... feels welcomed, respected, and safe", the group says it is still waiting to see changes happen. As such, A Better Ubisoft has released a new update that reads:

"A few days ago, Anika Grant [Ubisoft's chief people officer] released an internal video pitched as presenting employees with the results of this year's global employee satisfaction survey. This survey 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. 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.

"With the exception of participation and engagement scores, the talking points were delivered with no 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 95 percent fool this way or 51 percent starkly different outcomes.

"In an email on 14th December Anika said that 71 percent of employees feel comfortable being ourselves at work. What wasn't acknowledged was how many feel we have to hide our true selves for fear of judgment or reprobation from peers or managers. We're told in the video that several of the positive responses were 'above the external benchmarks for general industry provided by Glint'. But no context was given for these benchmarks, what they are, and what they represent.

"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 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 falling 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.

"Our goal is a fairer, better Ubisoft."

A Better Ubisoft then reiterates the demands that they laid out previously in a bid to improve their working conditions:

• 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 to a set of ground rules and processes that all studios can use to handle these offences in the future.

• This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives.

Those who wish to offer their support to A Better Ubisoft can sign their petition here.

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Victoria Kennedy

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Victoria developed a deep love for video games since watching her brothers barrel their way through Goldeneye 007. She will unashamedly spout forth all sorts of niche Zelda lore to anyone who will listen (and even at times to those who won’t), and makes the best pancakes you have ever seen.

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