Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, stated that creating a game requires some friction, as every individual has to defend their ideas during development. The seasoned CEO caused some controversy on the internet with his statement following the allegations of toxic behavior and abuse within the Ubisoft offices back in 2020.
In an interview, Guillemot was asked about the harassment and toxicity accusations in 2020 and whether they solved the problem as a team. Ubisoft CEO said that the team has definitely caught a good rhythm and explained the measurements taken by the company with these words:
“There’s not much discussion about the subject within the company anymore. We’ve designated some systems to regulate and resolve any problems that might arise and are doing very well in our attempt to improve life in the company according to everyone’s wishes. In this structure, everyone can freely speak up about whatever is going wrong in the company.”
Christophe Derennes, General Director of Ubisoft, also commented that the team has managed to overcome these problems by applying permanent programs and processes. The duo was then asked why there’s so much toxicity in the game industry, to which Guillemot replied:
“Creating a video game is not an easy task. Challenges cause tension from time to time. There is a certain need for some methods to ensure everyone finds a place compatible with themselves. Creation requires a bit of friction because everyone is trying to prove their ideas are the best. It’s a rewarding job when you succeed, but it’s difficult.”
The word “friction” may be misplaced, but the statement seems to be correct, as when creative minds collide, sparks are definitely bound to come out. Guillemot’s comments seem realistic instead of optimistic regarding workplace toxicity.
La Presse performed the interview and asked the duo various other questions about the company’s past, the success of Assassin’s Creed during its golden age between 2009 and 2014, and the choice of establishing Ubisoft Montréal back in 1997.