The director of the upcoming Assassin's Creed Japan game Codename Red is one of the figures at the center of the harassment allegations Ubisoft is currently facing. Jonathan Dumont previously directed Assassin's Creed Odyssey and has been accused of abusive and toxic behavior in the workplace.
Why is the Assassin's Creed Codename Red director an alleged abuser?
Back when abuse allegations first started to emerge against Ubisoft, several figures were named by accusers, including Serge Hascoët and Cécile Cornet, both of whom have since departed. Another of the figures named was Jonathan Dumont, the director of 2018's Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
According to a report by Game Developer from around the time the allegations surfaced, Dumont is "one of the biggest offenders" at the company, using "offensive terms and homophobic slurs" as well as physically intimidating staff by doing things like punching walls or slamming doors. Despite these allegations, Dumont is now working as the director on Assassin's Creed Codename Red, the recently-announced Assassin's Creed RPG set in feudal Japan.
Recently, Ubisoft employees at the workers' collective A Better Ubisoft were interviewed by Assassin's Creed fansite AC Sisterhood. The collective says it acknowledges some minor improvements at Ubisoft, but that there are still issues and that abusers are still being protected (and in some cases promoted) by the company.
Dumont isn't directly named, but given that he has been accused of abuse in the past and that he still seems to be working in a high-level capacity at Ubisoft, it's not hard to imagine he might be one of the figures A Better Ubisoft is talking about.
How has Ubisoft responded to harassment allegations?
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot says that Ubisoft's mission is to "ensure an inclusive, rewarding and respectful workplace" for its employees. He says that despite the allegations, Ubisoft is a company that "can be proud of itself". Guillemot goes on to say that any individual who has been named in a report has either been cleared of allegations or has been "appropriately disciplined and given an individualized action plan".
It's worth remembering, though, that A Better Ubisoft is accusing the company of protecting its abusers and of ignoring its staff, and if that's true, then the internal disciplinary process probably isn't a particularly trustworthy measure of whether someone is abusive or not. Naturally, none of the accusations against Dumont have been categorically proven.
Supposedly, a culture of ingrained misogyny at Ubisoft took hold long before these allegations emerged. Back in 2020, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier reported that Ubisoft intentionally blocked female protagonists in the Assassin's Creed series for several years. The figure at the center of this decision was apparently Serge Hascoët, who has now departed the company.
Said misogynistic working culture also apparently entailed meetings taking place in strip clubs, as well as male executives making derogatory comments to female employees. If these reports are true, then it's not hard to see how a culture of protecting abusers and insufficiently addressing harassment allegations could arise as well.
Ubisoft's issues are also seemingly part of a wider industry problem. Activision Blizzard's well-documented harassment allegations are still a source of major controversy for the company, even though Activision has found "no evidence" its executives ignored harassment (perhaps unsurprisingly, given the report was conducted by the company's board). Harassment allegations have also been made against major companies like Nintendo, as well as indie publishing outfits like Team17.
A Better Ubisoft told us that it doesn't comment publicly on specific current employees. We've also reached out to Ubisoft for comment on this story.