Ubisoft Executive Leaves Company Following Abuse And Assault Allegations

Ubisoft VP Maxime Beland has resigned from the company after being accused of assault and harassment. An internal investigation is ongoing.

24 Comments

Ubisoft executive Maxime Beland has resigned from his position on the company's editorial team following accusations of assault and sexual harassment. Beland had previously been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation, and the investigation is continuing despite his departure.

Ubisoft confirmed Beland's resignation in a statement to GameSpot, adding that VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François has been placed on disciplinary leave as a second investigation is conducted and one employee from Ubisoft Toronto had been fired outright.

Watch Dogs product and brand marketer Andrien Gbinigie, who was accused of sexual assault in June, worked out of the Ubisoft Toronto location. However, Ubisoft did not confirm if he was the employee in question.

"Ubisoft will not tolerate workplace misconduct and will continue taking disciplinary actions against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination, and other behaviors that infringe on our Code of Fair Conduct," the company added.

Beland had returned to Ubisoft in early 2020 after briefly moving to Epic Games. Prior to this, he served as a creative director at Ubisoft Toronto. His projects included Splinter Cell Conviction and Splinter Cell Blacklist, as well as support work on the Far Cry series.

CEO Yves Guillemot announced this week that the company would be undergoing a structural shift in order to change its company culture, including the appointment of a new head of workplace culture along with the use of an external consulting firm to review its procedures.

The news is the latest in a growing list of departures stemming from allegations of sexual abuse in the game industry. Evo Online, a fighting game tournament already acting as a replacement for the canceled Evo 2020, was scrapped this week following the firing of president Joey Cuellar for alleged abuse of underage boys.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 24 comments about this story
24 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for Jarrkha
Jarrkha

313

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Ah, another incident, like this story: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/assassins-creed-valhallas-ashraf-ismail-steps-down/1100-6478945/ (regarding that: If they intend to pursue legal action(s) on behalf of the accusers/victims, then that's pretty much the only point in UbiSoft doing an internal investigation if he's already resigned).

As for the fellow at Ubi Toronto... well, I did a stint doing volunteer game-testing there a couple years back, and I noticed some staff getting a little too chummy on their "smoke breaks." The demeanour might invalidate or preclude harassment claims, but it aids in leading to potential recriminating situations (i.e. assault) and definitely does not excuse it (but disguises the nature of the relationship until it is too late). That's why older generations always advised us to keep it simple: never dip your pen in the company ink, and don't consort or open oneself up to fraternization in any way.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for sippio
sippio

1079

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Back when society was normal one could flirt with female employees & they would flirt back..

Nowadays you need to play it safe 4 sure..

I think it's time for females to coverup fully @ work.

No more shoulders & legs exposed...

*Why does a female need to show off her figure @ work

when Men can't(not that dudes should)..

Imagine going to work w/ sandals and shorts wife a tang-top rotf.

It was understandable back in the day when young girls (18-30)weren't as easilly offended when a co-worker

flirted etc... Since it wont return top that era anytime soon then the next best thing is to have a completely even playing field...

diclaim~ all predators are parasite pos for sure. but the question is who & what to believe....

2 • 
Avatar image for naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

3360

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 0

@sippio: Yeah I'm somewhat with you on this one. I'm politically left-of-center, but I guess I'm not very left on this one. I think obviously predators should be exposed and punished,

but there's no point me saying all predators should stop,

when the majority of women don't seem to even know why they're wearing make-up and showing their legs, midriff, breasts, etc. The answer is usually just, “I don't know” or, “because I want to.” While women are still acting unconsciously, anyone who thinks there's any hope of sexual misconduct stopping, is living in a dream world.

To quote Alicia Silverstone in Clueless,

“Sometimes you have to show a little skin. This reminds boys of being naked, and then they think of sex.”

Thanks boo. Every item of female fashion that shows more skin than the equivalent male fashion, is doing so for this reason. The designers know, even if you don't. And people say, “Oh how barbaric! In Asia they used to crush women's feet into ridiculous little shoes to be more pleasing to the men! I'm glad we're more civilised now!” just before crushing themselves into high heels, and staggering around destroying their lower spines and pelvises in order to make their legs look longer and shake their asses a little more.

And make-up is just the same. Girls, maybe you already knew this, but you're putting make-up on your face because make-up simulates sexual arousal. And sexual arousal is an involuntary biological response when sexually interested in someone. And when you're sexually interested in someone, you don't mind if they touch your shoulder.

Unless you're sexually interested in everyone, then wearing it all the time is sending mixed signals to at least some people. Probably hundreds. The only possible exception to this is wearing foundation, and even that is only considered necessary because of how you've been conditioned by make-up. Boys with acne don't wear foundation, even though they could probably get away with it.

If aliens came to earth, make-up and female fashion would be the most immediate and obvious sign that women on this planet are generally agreed upon as being more sexual prizes for the men, than their social equals.

And the sad thing is this comment will probably be blocked for its content.

4 • 
Avatar image for santinegrete
santinegrete

4612

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 44

User Lists: 0

@naryanrobinson: glad I read it before that. We are into double standards and we even don't know where the line of how different both genres think starts.

3 • 
Avatar image for hordicus
hordicus

430

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

@mesoxim373: money87.com, cant believe some people dont see the danger...

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

1283

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Very sad that they only decided to get rid of this guy after the allegations came out.

And not at any time when he was reported for what he was up to. Instead Ubisoft just had it covered up. Amazingly brave of these women to publically come out and talk about it since it could end their career.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for syntaxkt
SyntaxKT

460

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@Dragon_Nexus: They didn't before and it was because of that reason. If this was 10 years ago they would not be listened to and avoided for hire for being too sensitive. I'm glad they are being heard now. The story I read about Maxime Beland was that he was particiulary horrible to woman and had anger issues where he punched holes in walls with the far cry 4 creative direct knowing and not doing anything about it. Then he allegedly got hired back this year for even more money. I've worked with terrible people like him before and hope Epic Games doesn't take him back.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for goldenageplayer
Goldenageplayer

471

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

So annoying when some punk in the work place wants to take advantage of others in creepy horrible ways... Ruining it for the rest of us you jerks! I swear... Just about everyone I've ever talked to has had some jerk in the work place who thought he was "better" than everyone else.

Anyways... Let's hope ubisoft starts to not suck. I'm serious... They make a crap ton of games and I enjoy next to none of them... Pretty much all the tom clancy crap is garbage to me. So that's like 100 games right there lol. Assassins greed pretty much fell flat to me after part 2. Wasn't that great to begin with and many other similar games like breath of the wild crap on it. Then you got far cry which is just island goofiness the FPS... Not really impressed. Oh and then there is watch dogs which was sadly one of those 2014 bombs lol.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for hardwenzen
hardwenzen

3969

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Its Ubi. Their games were mediocre with this thing, and will be as mediore without it. I'd suggest Ubi to take some classes to learn how to create video games. Everything coming out from that company has been mega shit.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for goldenageplayer
Goldenageplayer

471

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@hardwenzen: Lol to me the two big jerks in gaming are EA and activisionblizzard. Mean while ubisoft is that 3rd bully who's not "kool" enough to hang out with those two jerks going,

"hey guys wait up! I can be evil too!"

Upvote • 
Avatar image for hardwenzen
hardwenzen

3969

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@goldenageplayer said:

@hardwenzen: Lol to me the two big jerks in gaming are EA and activisionblizzard. Mean while ubisoft is that 3rd bully who's not "kool" enough to hang out with those two jerks going,

"hey guys wait up! I can be evil too!"

Don't forget the new b*tch on the block. Bethesda.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Marikhen
Marikhen

138

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@hardwenzen:

At least Bethesda didn't engage in actions that look suspiciously like they tanked an independent developer in order to take a popular IP in-house as well as poach said developer's staff.+-

As far as scandalous behavior goes Bethesda is still on the short bus compared to Rockstar/Take 2, and I've got this nagging feeling that Gearbox/2k and Focus Home Interactive are ahead of Bethesda on the "big jerk" line as well.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for goldenageplayer
Goldenageplayer

471

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@hardwenzen: Oh yeah lol... REAL shame with bethesda. Ubi, EA, and activision were always mostly crap to me or mediocre to me. But Bethesda man... What happened you guys??? Morrowind!!!! Oblivion!!! Fallout games!!! And then... (FART NOISE!)

They do suck now... And that's lame. If you ask me those guys at obsidian are the new REAL bethesda.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Person4
Person4

144

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

No worries, it's just Ubisoft.

Store-brand quality titles.

Maybe if they made a game that exceeded 5 or 6/10, more people would care about what's happening in their practices.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for dvdjedi
dvdjedi

145

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Goodbye to bad rubbish.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for bpmike83
bpmike83

155

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

ubisoft sucks now anyway. rainbow six siege is the last great game they have and it's ancient as heck now anyway.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for mogan
Mogan

14213

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

Mogan  Moderator

"adding that VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François has been played on disciplinary leave"

Insert DJ Khaled gif here.

2 • 
Avatar image for JusticeSword
JusticeSword

60

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Comeuppance served.

3 • 
Avatar image for daidochus
Daidochus

418

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Poor Maxim Bellend.

4 • 
Avatar image for mogan
Mogan

14213

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

Mogan  Moderator

@daidochus: *Fry squint*

Upvote •