Ubisoft made it within a few days of their Ubisoft Forward event, then everything fell apart. A day before the event and a day after Far Cry 6 was leaked on PlayStation’s Hong Kong store, a rogue Instagram post revealed the Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla release date. Assassin’s Creed’s Italian Instagram account posted and quickly removed a photo that showed Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s release date to be November 17, 2020. Ubisoft has also announced the resignations of some key people in the company.
The Valhalla leak spoils the second-biggest announcement for Ubisoft Forward. What’s disheartening is that this leak and the Far Cry 6 leak were entirely avoidable and the products of people making simple mistakes. Part of what’s great about press conferences and gaming events is the promise of new content and announcements that get us excited for the future of games. Leaks like this hurt both the industry and its community.
— Wario64 (@Wario64) July 11, 2020
However, what can be even more damaging to an industry is the loss of high-level executives. It was announced by Ubisoft in a press release that Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, Managing Director of Ubisoft’s Canadian Studios Yannis Mallat, and Global Head of HR Cécile Cornet have all left the company in the wake of “allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior.” Hascoët’s previous responsibilities will be taken over by CEO Yves Guillemot for now, and the other two positions are currently being recruited for. On Twitter, Jason Schreier commented on how untouchable Hascoët seemed. “Serge Hascoet was the man in charge of ALL of their games. With one word he could greenlight or cancel a project. Many Ubisoft employees believed he was too powerful and close to the CEO to ever be ousted…”
Ubisoft has had the wrong kind of press going into their Ubisoft Forward event on June 12, 2020. Abuse allegations, personnel shakeups, and leaks could spell a dismal rest of 2020 for the long-time publisher.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.