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Former Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director fired after misconduct investigation

Ubisoft has fired former Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail following an independent misconduct investigation. 

A company spokesperson confirmed the news in a short statement sent to Gamasutra, explaining that “as a result of investigations, Ashraf Ismail has been dismissed from Ubisoft and is no longer an employee.”

Ismail stepped down as Valhalla creative director in June after being accused of using his position to make inappropriate advances towards young Assassin’s Creed fans. 

He acknowledged the allegations on Twitter, where he explained he would be “stepping down from my beloved project to properly deal with the personal issues in my life. The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this.”

Ismail is just one of a number of high-profile Ubisoft employees facing accusations of misconduct, rating from sexual harassment to physical assault. 

Over the past two months, the company has terminated editorial vice presidents Tommy Francois and Maxime Beland over misconduct allegations, while other execs including Serge Hascoet, Yannis Mallat, and Cecile Cornet all resigned for either perpetrating or enabling professional misconduct. 

As we conducted our own investigation into the matter, a number of former and current employees spoke of how Ubisoft enabled a culture of abusive and control. Our most recent report, published earlier today, revealed new allegations against senior figures at the company. 

Ubisoft, for its part, has promised to address that toxicity. The Assassin’s Creed maker recently outlined a five pronged action plan to begin the culture shift, which includes overhauling divisions like the HR and editorial department, appointing a head of diversity and inclusion, and working with outside consultants to investigate allegations. 

Ubisoft chief exec Yves Guillemot has also acknowledged the need for change, and wrote an email to employees at the beginning of June entitled “change starts today.”