Assassin’s Creed Valhalla director, Ashraf Ismail,  was fired from Ubisoft after recent reports of sexual missconduct allegations.

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[Original Post – 25/6/2020] Ashraf Ismail, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director, has announced that he is no longer working with Ubisoft.

Ashraf uploaded the news on his personal Twitter, but the post was quickly removed. However, Ashraf stepping down is official and you can take a look in a screenshot of his post below.

Our favorite creative director will leave Ubisoft in order to focus on personal issues. Unfortunately, the personal issues he is referring to are allegations of infidelity which surfaced on Twitter earlier this week. In a statement to Eurogamer, Ubisoft said he is taking a leave of absence, and during this time the team will remain “committed to delivering a great game.” Ashraf also worked in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and in Assassin’s Creed Origins. Let’s hope that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will not be affected by the leave of its creative director.

As you may already know, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a Viking-themed title set in England of (approx) 850 A.D. We will be playing as a Norse Raider, leader of a Viking guild, named Eivor. Eivor can be either a man or a woman and there will not be an option for two different characters. Ubisoft’s new title is scheduled to release on the holidays of 2020. However, you will not be able to find Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on Steam, at least not at the release date. Ubisoft plans on releasing more games on the Epic Store for the time being. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is coming to PS4, Xbox One, PS5, and Xbox Series X as well. You can pre-order it on Amazon if you wish, but for PC, the game will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store and Uplay Platform.

[UPDATE 1 – 26/6/2020] Ubisoft responds to recent sexual misconduct allegations

Following recent allegations against the creative director of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Ashraf Ismail, the company has issued a public statement on the matter.

“We have started by launching investigations into the allegations with the support of specialized external consultants,” the studio said. “Based on the outcomes, we are fully committed to taking any and all appropriate disciplinary action. As these investigations are ongoing, we can’t comment further. We are also auditing our existing policies, processes, and systems to understand where these have broken down, and to ensure we can better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behavior.”

However, this announcement by Ubisoft has nothing to do with Ashraf Ismail’s case.

[UPDATE 2 – 27/6/2020] Ubisoft suspends two executives after sexual misconduct allegations (This update is irrelevant with the Assasin’s Creed Valhalla creative director, Ashraf Ismail.)

Following an internal corporate investigation, Ubisoft has suspended vice presidents Tommy François and Maxime Béland–the two were responsible for overseeing worldwide development of the studio’s games. Both men face at least three claims of misconduct. Ubisoft has come under scrutiny in the past week, following a string of victims coming forward to report misconduct at the hands of the studio’s employees. Ubisoft product and brand marketing manager Andrien Gbinigie was accused of sexual assault earlier this week on June 22, which Gbinigie denied in a now-removed Medium post.

This was followed by Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s creative director Ashraf Ismail leaving Ubisoft on June 24 in the wake of accusations of infidelity. These recent accusations are a part of a much larger movement across the gaming space as a whole, with this past week seeing numerous victims come forward with statements of the abuse they’ve suffered at the hands of prominent individuals in the industry.

[UPDATE 3 – 4/7/2020] An executive in Ubisoft resigned after sexual abuse allegations

Ubisoft’s executive Maxime Beland has resigned from the company after the accusations about assault and sexual harassment. Maxime was working in Ubisoft’s editorial team and was temporarily suspended because of the internal investigation in the company. Ubisoft confirmed his resignation in a statement to GameSpot, adding that Tommy Francois, who is also working in the editorial department, has been placed on disciplinary leave. There is also a second ongoing investigation in Ubisoft Toronto, where an executive that his name is not known yet, was fired outright.

[UPDATE 4 – 16/8/2020] Assassin’s Creed Valhalla director, Ashraf Ismail,  was fired from Ubisoft after recent reports of sexual missconduct allegations.

According to an email obtained by Kotaku, Ubisoft has fired Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail . Last month, Ashraf stepped down from Ubisoft and was under investigation after reports of sexual missconduct allegations. According to the email, the investigation was helmed by an external firm, and it “determined that Ashraf’s employment with Ubisoft had to be terminated.” We don’t have any more details about the exact actions of Ashraf but we will update the article as soon as we have more information.

This month there is an increase on the reports about sexual harassment and assault in the gaming community in general. Except Ubisoft,  Twitch also took action in regards to sexual allegations inside the company. Some weeks ago, members of the Super Smash Bros Esports have revealed their experiences with players and commentators that involve pedophilia, rape, sexual harassment, and grooming.

We have collected all the information that we have on Assassin’s Creed Vallhalla on an “Everything we Know” article.

Foivos Karkanis

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