Ubisoft Fires Assassin's Creed Valhalla's Creative Director After Misconduct Investigation

Ubisoft Fires Assassin's Creed Valhalla's Creative Director After Misconduct Investigation

Ashraf Ismail joins the growing list of departures and terminations.

As the company's investigations continue, the list of fired and exiting Ubisoft employees accused of misconduct grows. Ashraf Ismail, Creative Director for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, is now the latest high-profile Ubisoft employee to be terminated as a result of an externally led investigation.

Kotaku reports that Ubisoft Montreal employees received word of Ismail's firing yesterday. In June, after Ismail was publicly accused of using his position at Ubisoft and lying about his marital status in order to pursue intimate relationships, Ismail stepped down from his role on Valhalla and took a leave of absence. "The lives of my family and my own are shattered," Ismail wrote at the time. "I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this."

In addition to Ismail's work on Valhalla, which is set to launch this November, he also served as Creative Director on 2017's Assassin's Creed: Origins and as the Single Player Game Director for 2013's Black Flag.

Other prominent employees at Ubisoft, including Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët and Vice Presidents of Editorial Tommy François and Maxime Béland, have either resigned or been fired in the weeks since allegations of rampant abuse, sexism, harassment, and other misconduct at Ubisoft first emerged. Since then, multiple outlets have expanded upon the troubling reports of toxic conduct and culture, and the list of Ubisoft employees accused of misconduct has grown.

As the launches for Vahalla, Watch Dogs Legion, and 2021's Far Cry 6 approach, all eyes remain on Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, waiting to see how the company will substantively address the revelations of the last few months beyond this series of oustings. For it's next Forward marketing showcase in September, the company has promised that it will present "a message tied to the show sharing the status of Ubisoft's commitment to improving the culture, comfort and safety of Ubisoft employees and community." Notably, it skipped including any similar sort of acknowledgement with last month's presentation.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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