French newspaper Libération has reported that five ex-Ubisoft employees have been arrested in connection with a sexual harassment investigation by French police.
According to the paper, in 2021, French police received complaints from the Solidaires Informatique union — a French union that serves digital, consulting, and video game workers — and two individuals. After more than a year of investigation involving extensive interviews with around 50 current and former Ubisoft employees, the arrests were carried out over October 3rd and 4th.
Of the five individuals arrested, only two are named — former chief creative officer Serge Hacosët and editorial vice president Tommy François, both of whom left the company in 2020.
François and Hacosët were two of a number of employees forced out of Ubisoft in 2020 after numerous current and former employees came forward, sharing stories of sexual abuse and harassment they suffered at the company. Amidst the personal stories, employees also alleged that Ubisoft knew about and, in some cases, protected the men accused of misconduct because of their high-profile status within the company or personal connection to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. A 2020 internal Ubisoft survey revealed that 25 percent of employees experienced workplace misconduct. A letter from the company published shortly after the allegations surfaced apologized to those affected and promised to implement changes to better protect employees.
In the Libération report, victims’ lawyer Maude Beckers said that “the case is very particular because beyond simple individual behavior, it reveals systemic sexual violence.”
The Verge has reached out to Ubisoft for comment.