Hugues Ricour had previously been accused of sexual harassment
Ubisoft Singapore, which is currently developing Skull & Bones, has removed managing director Hugues Ricour from his position following a “leadership audit”.
This is according to Kotaku, which obtained a copy of an internal company email that was sent by Ubisoft chief studios operating officer, Virginie Haas.
“Effective immediately, Hugues Ricour is no longer managing director of Ubisoft Singapore,” she wrote. “The results of the leadership audit that was conducted in the last few weeks by our external partners makes it impossible for him to continue in this position.”
A spokesperson for Ubisoft later confirmed that although Ricour has been removed from his position, he will continue as an employee of the company. “We can confirm that Hugues Ricour is both stepping down from his role as MD and also leaving the Singapore studio, but will remain at Ubisoft,” they said.
Ricour’s ouster from Ubisoft Singapore follows an August investigation by Gamasutra about the alleged toxic workplace culture at the game developer’s offices. The investigation claims that Ricour had been “accused by multiple sources of sexual harassment” and also propagated a culture of “fear and oppression”.
Kotaku later noted in its report, through its own investigations, that sources at Ubisoft Singapore said that Ricour had a “problematic” management style, which included “bullying, demeaning comments, and retaliatory action against those perceived to have stood up to him”.
The internal email from Haas also noted that the studio will hold a town hall with employees to address Ricour’s removal. It’s currently unclear what effect Ricour’s ouster will have on the much-delayed Skull & Bones.
In September, Ubisoft had said that it was “fully committed to launching” Skull & Bones. The game’s creative director, Elisabeth Pellen, said that production on the game was “in full swing with a new vision”, and required more development time as a result.