Last weekend at Ubisoft Forward 2022, French video game publisher and developer Ubisoft thrilled fans of the Assassin's Creed series by announcing its next installment: Assassin's Creed Red.
Fans have been asking for a game set in feudal Japan ever since the series debuted 15 years ago, and it looks like they'll finally get their wish.
After the success of Assassin's Creed Valhalla in 2020, the Assassin's Creed series will be looking to replicate its success with a new title codenamed Red.
Marc-Alexis Cote, who has worked on some of the best Assassin's Creed games as both a creative director and a producer, called Codename Red Ubisoft's "next premium flagship title" and said it would be "the future of our open-world RPG games on Assassin's Creed".
But trouble is already allegedly brewing around the new Assassin's Creed title.
According to a report by The Gamer, an anonymous worker from A Better Ubisoft initiative said that some developers at Ubisoft Quebec reportedly turned down working on Assassin's Creed Red because of Jonathan Dumont's involvement as its creative director.
Who is Jonathan Dumont?
In 2020, allegations surfaced that Dumont verbally abused and made sexual advances toward his co-workers, particularly women and new hires.
The allegations were among the many levelled at Ubisoft in the last two years, which even had a Singapore watchdog open a probe into its Singapore office over claims of sexual harassment and racial discrimination, and saw top execs leave the company.
The anonymous worker also claimed Dumont was responsible for the exodus of talented employees from the company, alleging that his outbursts 'created a climate of fear known for years'.
A 2020 report by Game Developer about alleged abuse at Ubisoft claimed that Dumont would throw things, punch walls, and be mean to people verbally, calling them names that would make them cry.
However, the source from A Better Ubisoft has admitted that Dumont has “made an effort to improve himself” since the allegations were made public in 2020.
But, according to the source, this wasn't enough for the Ubisoft workers in Quebec, resulting in many of them being reluctant to collaborate with Dumont on the upcoming Assassin's Creed Red.
Calls for change at Ubisoft
Earlier this month, A Better Ubisoft voiced their displeasure with the "painfully slow" progress being made toward establishing a safe and respectful workplace in the lead-up to last week's Ubisoft Forward. It was also alleged that Cote knew about the toxicity and enabled it.
In response to TheGamer's report, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot issued a statement claiming that individuals involved in such allegations had been "cleared or appropriately disciplined" for their alleged behaviour, without referencing either Cote or Dumont.
The A Better Ubisoft initiative came to life due to the flurry of allegations and scandals breaking out in 2020, as subordinates formed the group to advocate for better working conditions.
In 2021, the group sent an open letter to Ubisoft asking them to, among other things, stop protecting abusers, give employees more say in how the company works, encourage cooperation between divisions, and let people who aren't managers help organise that cooperation.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.