After a lengthy expose by Kotaku on some rather questionable practices by Ubisoft Singapore, including sexual harassment by the former head of the well-known French game studio’s office in Singapore, Singapore’s national watchdog for fair employment practices, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) is opening investigations over claims of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
In follow-up reports, former and current employees of the French video-game developer have come forward in a series of interviews to express their grievances ranging from sexual harassment by Hugues Ricour, former managing director, the misogynistic and toxic workplace culture to racial pay disparities, as well as the alleged practice of underpaying Singapore staff who continue to live with their parents in the small city-state.
Amidst the investigations, Ubisoft Singapore’s new managing director Darryl Long, who took over in January, has come forward to respond to the reports and share the steps the company is currently taking, to create change in light of the reports.
“We do not, and we will not tolerate any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination of any type. We can’t. Going forward, we have a zero-tolerance policy to any kind of misconduct,” said Long in a statement.
“My goal is to build a workplace culture that is based on caring, innovation and leading the industry. We need to be an exemplary place to work. I meant to provide an environment where the team can express themselves and feel safe to express themselves creatively so that they can make incredible games for all of our players. In the studio, we have been taking concrete actions to address first any type of misconduct.”
According to Long, an external third-party company has been engaged to allow for anonymous whistleblowing. Following that, any recommendations by the independent third party on how to move forward with the situation, as well as create an environment where employees can feel safe, will be presented though it is up to Ubisoft to accept and implement any.
As the investigation is still in its earlier stages, Tafep has urged anyone with knowledge of any criminal conduct such as sexual harassment and assault to report to the police immediately.