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Ubisoft execs deny insider trading accusations

Shifted shares shortly before Watch Dogs delay.

Five top Ubisoft executives are in hot water over claims of insider trading - a serious legal matter now being investigated by the French stock market regulator.

The execs are accused of selling off company shares three months before the 2013 delay of both Watch Dogs and The Crew - while knowing of the imminent effect the news would have on share prices.

Predictably, word that Ubisoft was delaying two of its biggest titles sent stocks tumbling - but by that point the execs had already sold their shares.

However, the five have denied having any knowledge of the impending delays when they all shifted their stock.

Among the accused are three of Ubisoft Montreal's top brass: Olivier Paris, Francis Baillet and CEO Yannis Mallat (you may remember him from his apology for the botched launch of Assassin's Creed Unity).

The remaining two execs have not been named, but are understood to be based in France, where Ubisoft has its main headquarters.

"I had no information about the delay of Watch Dogs," Mallat told French-Canadian newspaper La Presse (thanks, Rock Paper Shotgun), "let alone The Crew, let alone the fact that the announcement would not provide a new launch date which, I think, probably had the most impact."

"All our explanations, all our testimonies, all our emails are ignored in a systematic way. Everything shows that the AMF has a poor understanding of how games are made."

A hearing will take place in Paris this Friday, 18th November. All five execs will attend, and make their case.