Ubisoft Appoints Another White French Guy As Head Creative

Ubisoft Appoints Another White French Guy As Head Creative
Photo: Martin Bureau, Getty Images

Ubisoft’s new chief creative officer is Igor Manceau, a 20-year veteran of the company who most recently led development on Riders Republic, the company announced today. Manceau steps into the role over a year after previous CCO, Serge Hascoët, resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct, and at a time when many employees are calling on the Assassin’s Creed publisher to shakeup its predominantly French and French-Canadian creative leadership team.

As chief creative officer, Manceau will be in charge of guiding the overall creative vision for every Ubisoft game. “Manceau will 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,” the company wrote in a press release today, appearing to anticipate criticisms of Manceau’s background and Ubisoft’s ongoing struggle to make its highest ranks reflect the diversity sometimes championed in its games and marketing.

The role was previously filled by Serge Hascoët, another decades-long veteran who saw his tenure at the French publisher come to an end last July while it was reckoning with widespread allegations of sexual misconduct. Hascoët was among those accused, in his case of making sexually explicit remarks to and about female coworkers, but also of fostering a sexist atmosphere and of protecting other men who engaged in harassment. Unlike other Ubisoft employees who were accused of misconduct, Hascoët was allowed to resign but was never formally investigated.

Read More: Ubisoft’s #MeToo Reckoning, Two Months Later

Hascoët was also at the centre of internal disputes over which Ubisoft developers were promoted to be his lieutenants. In early 2020, the company announced its revised slate of VPs to help lead its all-powerful Editorial department, responsible for helping the CCO oversee development across all game studios. All of them were white men. After allegations against some of the men appointed were finally reported publicly, Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot promised to revise its composition. One woman, Bio Jade Adam Granger, was finally appointed to that role earlier this year, but many employees are still waiting on the more thorough overhaul that was promised.

“There is no clear expression of the creative process, and there is a shocking lack of diversity in the VPs,” a representative for the A Better Ubisoft employee group wrote in a statement today. “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. Currently, as it stands, the creative team at Ubisoft is composed of white people who are of uniform cultural backgrounds.”

A Better Ubisoft sent an open letter to company management last month calling for fundamental reforms across the video game industry when it came to workplace protections for reporting sexual misconduct, toxic managers, and other issues.

The letter came after several reports earlier this year for current and former Ubisoft employees feeling that the company has done little to fundamentally change in the face of last year’s reckoning. Activision Blizzard faces a similar backlash from employees over a California lawsuit alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination at that company. So far, neither company has formally acknowledged the employees’ demands for further action.

Comments

  • “…shakeup its predominantly French and French-Canadian creative leadership team.”

    That sounds pretty bigoted to me. What, a French company isn’t allowed to hire French Fries because they release games in other languages?

    Culturally and gender-diverse leadership makes sense, but people demanding they discriminate based on nationality is bizarre and xenophobic.

  • Another white french guy? WTF does his race and sex have to do with anything?
    Change the title to different race and sex and see how long it would last.
    This is exactly the kind of bs that causes the hate in the first place.

  • French company hires French guy as new CEO.

    There fixed it for you.

    How long before this site changes its name to “Woketaku” (Copyrighted so when you do make the change I expect 20 cents every time it’s mentioned).

      • *doesn’t read article* … ~’article is trash!’

        ^ and that’s maybe being generous too. Seems like you may not have made it to the end of the headline initially? Either way, I genuinely appreciate that level of honesty.

        • I appreciate you backing up my point. The article is so trash I couldn’t make it through the title.

          Thanks for the support bro. Appreciate it I really do.

        • What try? I was genuinely appreciated the back up. You’re correct. The title and article were such trash I couldn’t make it through. I appreciate you appreciating my honesty. You should appreciate that at no point have I not been honest here.

  • This article and its headline highlight why Kotaku are going downhill.

    Sort yourselves out, this is disgusting.

  • You’d almost think the article was written by a British person with how hostile it is towards the French. At times like this you can really see that America’s still British at heart.

  • Hey Ethan, might wanna check the CEO of the company that owns Kotaku US.

    God forbid a french company hire a french person. Arent you white though Ethan? Why didn’t you let a POC write this article? Are you racist ethan? Check your privledge.

  • Indigenous company hires indigenous creative lead.

    Whilst I’m generally quite for diversity and such, the US needs to stop exporting its culture wars. The rest of the world either have their own issues (which are unique from the USA), or don’t suffer from anywhere near the same level of shit.

  • You hire people based on their experience, character, and their skills. Why would gender or skin colour matter? If he wasn’t white would this article be written the same way? Do you know anything about Igor Manceau opinions on diversity, or understand his past motivations?

    It sounds like you’re automatically assuming that because someone is hiring a person of a certain gender and skin colour that they would have a negative impact on the culture. Isn’t this racist?

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