Ubisoft director says toxicity in gaming is necessary…

He then backed off

Ubisoft director says toxicity in gaming is necessary…

He then backed off

As if things at Ubisoft weren't already worrying enough, recently its CEO Yves Guillemot has come out with a rather controversial statement, where unfortunately he seems to suggest that toxicity is necessary for the industry. Shortly thereafter, the executive came back to retract his words.

What happened?

In a new interview with La Presse, originally reported by Kotaku, Guillemot was asked why it is so common to find toxic work environments in the gaming industry, to which the executive replied that it is just necessary to have friction in the creative process of video games.

Translated from the French portal:

“Creating a video game is not easy. There is a “challenge”, and from time to time a lot of tension. […] To create, you need a little friction, because everyone has to succeed in getting their idea across. It's a job that brings a lot of rewards when you succeed, but it's hard work.”

As expected, many took Guillemot's response as a way to justify the toxic work environments that have been reported at his company and in the face of criticism, the executive decided to come out and clarify his comments in order to avoid misunderstandings.

According to Guillemot, there is no place for toxicity in the video game industry. So he assured that when he referred to friction, he meant it in a purely creative sense and that he's fine with company employees challenging his ideas, not that his work environment is toxic.

“I want to be clear, as I have said before there is absolutely no place for toxicity at Ubisoft or in our industry. When I spoke of there sometimes being friction, I was thinking of the creative tension that is common and vital in innovative companies like ours, where people have the freedom to challenge ideas and have heated but healthy debates.”

Further on, Guillemot mentioned that companies must work to prevent these frictions from turning into negative or toxic behaviours; through appropriate policies, values and procedures. He also mentioned that Ubisoft has made great strides in this regard to provide safe and excellent experiences for their teams as healthy and respectful work environments are their top priority

“Heated but healthy”

We can agree that his words weren’t the best, at least not after his company has been accused of sexual harassment, and misconduct on productions like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry. For now, Guillemot seems to be convinced to be “on the right track.”

What do you think about Guillemot's statements? Let us know in the comments below.

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