Ubisoft fires former Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director following an investigation

Ashraf Ismail, the former creative director for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, has been fired by Ubisoft, Bloomberg reports. Ismail stepped down from his role and took a leave of absence in June after a fan accused Ismail of lying about his marital status in order to pursue a romantic relationship with her.

“As a result of investigations, Ashraf Ismail has been dismissed from Ubisoft and is no longer an employee,” a spokesman for Ubisoft told The Verge. Kotaku also viewed an internal message sent to employees confirming the company had terminated Ismail’s employment following an external investigation.

Ubisoft has been under scrutiny since June when dozens of people spoke out on social media about the company’s toxic work culture, which allegedly spanned more than a decade, according to Bloomberg. New allegations are still being made, with Gamasutra reporting this morning on accusations made against additional employees, including Jonathan Dumont, the creative director for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, who allegedly displayed controlling and violent behavior in the workplace.

Following the initial wave of allegations, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot announced in July that several changes would be made internally to create a healthier work environment at the company. This includes tying bonuses to team leads based on “their ability to create a positive and inclusive work environment.”

Many executives at Ubisoft have either resigned or departed the company in recent weeks following allegations of harassment and professional misconduct. In July, former creative director and editorial vice president at Ubisoft Toronto, Maxime Béland, resigned from his position after being placed on administrative leave in June for several instances of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment. In that same week, three top executives, including chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, departed from the company in light of the recent allegations of inappropriate behavior. More recently, Tommy François, the VP for editorial and creative services, left the company in early August after allegations of sexual harassment were made against him.


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