Ubisoft has announced that Igor Manceau, an employee of the company for over two decades and currently a creative director, will be appointed as the new Chief Creative Officer, reporting directly to CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot.
The appointment comes amidst a backdrop of allegations from employees regarding workplace treatment. Late last year, several senior figures within the company departed following the allegations, and more recently, Ubisoft Singapore fell under investigation due to allegations of workplace and sexual harassment. In fact, according to one internal survey, almost 25% of staff working at the company claimed to witness or experience misconduct of some kind.
The appointment then seems to be a response to this situation, with part of the role tasking Manceau to "work closely with stakeholders in all the company’s studios to include diverse perspectives and sensibilities that will feed the creative spirit of the group." According to Guillemot, "Manceau’s track record of guiding creative direction for diverse game types, his capacity to devise concepts that appeal to social players and new audiences, and his consummate team leadership and collaboration [are] qualities that will help him succeed in this position."
Most recently, Manceau worked on Riders Republic, among other titles over his two decades at the company. Despite his previous credentials, ABetterUbisoft, a union of workers who are made up of both current and former employees, responded to the appointment on Twitter with a statement;
"We can only trust that his application and appointment were done so under intense scrutiny due to the actions of his predecessor," they say. "However, those actions need to be addressed and we hope to see Igor taking meaningful steps to repair the damage done by his predecessor."
They go on to further outline that the choice does not do "redefine the leadership of the editorial department and avoid having a singular creative officer" as previously promised, and that there there is still an apparent "shocking lack of diversity" among the VPs at Ubisoft. "We acknowledge the hiring of Bio Jade Adam Granger, but not much progress has been made beyond that, especially given that two additional VPs were meant to be hired [...] the creative team at Ubisoft is composed of white people who are of uniform cultural backgrounds. This leaves us with a lack of confidence in the future shape of the editorial team."