Ubisoft posted its financial results for the first quarter of financial year 2020-2021, showing year-over-year growth in just about everything (undoubtedly helped by the pandemic). But recent sexual misconduct and other scandals cast a shadow over these monetary achievements.
The quarter earned sales of $495.11 million, up 17.6% from the same period last year. Ubisoft also saw the net bookings of its major franchises increase compared to 2019. Assassin’s Creed is up 30% year-over-year, Rainbow Six: Siege is up 30%, and Just Dance is up a massive 500%.
But Ubisoft is dealing with a major shakeup right now as it lets go of executives accused of sexual misconduct and harassment within the company. Ubisoft acknowledged the issue in its earnings report.
“Since late June 2020, allegations of inappropriate behavior and harassment have been made against certain Group employees. The Group reacted immediately and has been carrying out a rigorous inquiry in order to take all the necessary actions.” The statement goes on to note that the company is transforming its HR department and creating a new head of diversity and inclusion position.
Ubisoft cofounder and chief executive officer Yves Guillemot also addressed the issues:
“While Ubisoft’s current performance and business prospects are stronger than ever, we nonetheless face a very serious challenge following the recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior within our Group. I am determined to make profound changes in order to improve and strengthen our corporate culture. We already have acted swiftly and firmly, announcing and introducing large-scale initiatives intended to transform our organization. Our overriding aim is ensuring that all Ubisoft employees have a safe and inclusive workplace environment. As a leader in our industry, we have to be intransigent in order to create an exemplary culture where everyone feels respected and valued. This is vital to ensure that all of the talented people who make up Ubisoft feel fulfilled in their jobs.”
It’s unclear if the scandal will have any kind of financial impact on Ubisoft. The studio has big releases planned for the rest of the year, including Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion.