Ubisoft have come under fire this year for an alleged harmful and abusive workplace environment. A recent Bloomberg article, written by Jason Schreier, highlights key individuals within Ubisoft’s management structure and their negative influences on several Ubisoft teams. For example, one part of the article highlights how one individual, Serge Hascoet, held the belief that women don’t sell video games. Sometimes known as “the gatekeeper”, he had the power to greenlight and even cancel projects that weren’t to his liking. Hascoet seems to favour games with male protagonists and is supposedly the reason behind several decisions behind Assassin’s Creed games.
According to current and former Ubisoft employees, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was originally only going to have a single protagonist: Kassandra. Jacob and Evie Frye were also originally going to have equal screen time in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Ana was originally going to be the main character of Assassin’s Creed Origins. These Ubisoft employees see this as proof of ingrained sexism within Ubisoft’s corporate structure.
Hascoet has since been removed from Ubisoft and the company have pledged to tackle abusive working conditions within the company. Because of Hascoet’s involvement, it makes you wonder what Assassin’s Creed would have been like without him at the helm.