Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail has reportedly been fired from Ubisoft, following allegations of extra-marital affairs.
We previously reported how after numerous sexual misconduct allegations, multiple Ubisoft executives stood down during internal investigations. Anonymous sources also spoke to other outlets, describing the working atmosphere blurred the line between work and leisure, which allegedly lead to predatory behavior.
Ubisoft vice president of editorial and creative services Tommy François was fired in late July to early August. In our prior report, François was one of the executives who had accusations levied against him. Other executives had also resigned or were placed on administrative leave.
Allegations made against Ismail were one of the first made against Ubisoft executives. On June 21st, streamer Dani Porter Bridges (“MatronEdna”) claimed in a tweet that she and Ismail had been in a relationship for one year “on and off,” despite Ismail being married [1, 2, 3, 4].
In alleged text messages, Ismail claimed he was divorced, but wore his wedding ring publicly to avoid upsetting his “traditional” Middle-Eastern family. He allegedly also refused to call directly, use FaceTime, or have packages sent to his home (instead going to his office).
Bridges motivation was seemingly after she discovered Ismail was married, and to prevent others for falling for similar alleged deception. After these claims were made public, Ismail allegedly begged Bridges to take down her tweets [1, 2, 3].
Ismail reportedly stated he was stepping down to “to properly deal with the personal issues in my life.” Continuing, Ismail stated “The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this. There are hundreds of talented, passionate people striving to build an experience for you that do not deserve to be associated with this. I wish them all the best.”
Ubisoft stated to Eurogamer “Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence. The development team is committed to delivering a great game in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.”
Now, a copy of a internal digital message obtained by Kotaku reportedly claim that Ismail has been fired. On August 13th, an internal message in Ubisoft Montreal reportedly stated “Following an investigation by an external firm, it was determined that Ashraf’s employment with Ubisoft had to be terminated. We cannot provide any details about this confidential investigation.”
Other Ubisoft executives who have are no longer present at the company include vice president of editorial Maxime Béland , chief creative officer Serge Hascöet, managing director of Canadian studios Yannis Mallat, global head of human resources Cécile Cornet (all resigned), and public relations director Stone Chin (fired).
Whether legal proceedings will occur against any of those involved is unclear. France-based union Solidaires Informatique is also reportedly preparing a collective lawsuit against Ubisoft.