During a pre-recorded video ahead of Ubisoft’s gaming showcase later today, CEO Yves Guillemot called the recent use of raised fist imagery in Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad “an oversight” and said measures will be put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“I want to be clear, Ubisoft stands for equality and respect for all,” Guillemot said. “Unfortunately, one of our recent mobile games included content that was inappropriate. This kind of oversight cannot happen. We are putting in place safeguards to prevent it in the future.” Guillemot did not mention that his son, Charlie Guillemot, is co-managing director of Owlient, the Ubisoft studio where Elite Squad was made.
The “inappropriate” content Guillemot was referring to was raised fist imagery in the game’s opening that was used to depict a fictional terrorist group called UMBRA. “[Protesters] claim to promote an egalitarian utopia to gain popular support; while behind the scenes UMBRA organizes deadly terrorist attacks to generate even more chaos and weaken governments,” a narrator says during the game’s opening, as black fists, a longstanding symbol of leftist and civil rights protest movements, flash across the screen.
Ubisoft apologized in a statement shortly after the game went live late last month, and announced it would remove the imagery—if not the rest of the opening’s fascist framing—from the game in a subsequent update on Android and iOS.
“We condemn anyone using our games as a proxy for hate or toxicity,” Guillemot said today. “We fully support the Black Lives Matter movement.” To that end, the CEO promised an “additional donation” to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund today, which follows the $100,000 Ubisoft contributed earlier this year.