Some Ubisoft Quebec employees are unhappy that creative director Jonathan Dumont has kept his job despite misconduct allegations. He is reportedly the reason they refuse to work on the next Assassin’s Creed game.
Why do people avoid working on Assassin’s Creed Red?
As one member of A Better Ubisoft group told The Gamer, some employees at Ubisoft Quebec don’t want to work on the new Assassin’s Creed project because of its creative director Jonathan Dumont.
“His outbursts have created a climate of fear known for years in the studio and failed to be acted on for a long time,” a source said.
Dumont is also cited as the main reason for multiple people leaving Ubisoft. They say that while he reportedly tries to “improve himself”, some employees are still afraid of him and his aggressive behavior.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told The Gamer that Dumont or any other leader that was accused of inappropriate actions and still remains at the company has been “appropriately disciplined and given an individualized action plan to support and monitor their progress.”
The project codenamed Red is one of several Assassin’s Creed games that Ubisoft announced last week. The new open-world RPG set in feudal Japan, along with another title codenamed Hex, will be part of the upcoming Infinity platform.
Who is Jonathan Dumont?
- Dumont is an industry veteran who first joined Ubisoft in 1998 and animator and level designer. He worked on games like Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory and Rainbow Six 3.
- He went on to serve as a senior level designer at Blizzard and Electronic Arts before returning to the French company in 2013.
- Dumont was the world director of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and later became creative director of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
- In 2020, Jonathan Dumont got in the center of a massive harassment scandal at Ubisoft. According to a Game Developer report, multiple employees described him as an “abusive and controlling figure who in many ways embodies many of the problems currently facing Ubisoft.”
- Dumont was accused of being a “major bully” and verbally attacking team members by making misogynist and homophobic comments.
- Despite all the allegations, he managed to keep his job at the company and continued to serve as creative director at Ubisoft Quebec.
- He was later named as one of the creative directors of Assassin’s Creed Infinity, an upcoming live service platform and hub that should connect new games in the long-running series.
Ubisoft’s workplace issues
- The French publisher became a subject of several harassment and misconduct allegations in July 2020.
- According to the company’s survey, at least 25% of its employees experienced or witnessed some form of workplace misconduct over the last couple of years.
- Ubisoft also fired some managers accused of inappropriate behavior, including Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Origins director Ashraf Ismail (he eventually got a new job at Tencent’s studio).
- The harassment scandal led to a group of employees forming A Better Ubisoft initiative to make the leadership make positive changes.
- Earlier this month, the group once again criticized Ubisoft’s response, saying that many people accused of misconduct are still working at the company. They also noted that changes “have been minimal” with “a lot of talk and not much walk.”