Developer and publisher Ubisoft has announced a new online TV show for the games industry in what some will likely see as a distraction.
A new streaming focused on online gaming named after gTV has been announced by Ubisoftand the new streaming channel focuses on the positives of the gaming industry. This may seem cynical to some, at best, considering the company’s somewhat recent controversies. Ubisoft was founded in 1986 by five brothers and has since grown to become one of the largest game publishers and developers in the world, with branches and subsidiaries located around the world. The company is best known for major gaming franchises such as Assassin’s creed, its many assortments Tom clancy titles and others, but made headlines in 2020 for allegedly sponsoring and covering up employee abuse and sexism, leading to some key exits at multiple levels of the company.
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While the company has grown in popularity and financial success over the years, Ubisoft’s ethical reputation recently plummeted. Following a shocking influx of allegations and internal investigations, several key staff at various Ubisoft studios have been fired or resigned over the past year. Reports from current and former employees range from verbal and physical abuse, discrimination, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Ubisoft claims to be working to address its toxic work culture issue, and CEO Yves Guillemot (somewhat unsatisfactory) apologized on behalf of the company while maintaining a lack of personal knowledge of what was happening in the latest Ubisoft Forward.
The latest in these distractions comes with Ubisoft’s announcement of a new online TV show called gTV, an online-only channel that promises to celebrate the bright side of gaming as a whole. The new UK-oriented station is available to watch on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook after being revealed on Wednesday. Ubisoft claims that gTV will have a variety of multimedia, broadcasting talk shows, documentaries, live shows and more from a wide range of content creators and influencers in the industry.
While the company publicly promotes diversity and community in the content it produces, it appears that Ubisoft cannot consistently uphold its own standards. Assassin’s creed, one of the company’s largest franchises, was revealed last year to be heavily influenced by the sexist views of senior staff, who apparently actively curtailed female roles in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and other inputs. In a separate instance, Ubisoft was again criticized for comparing the anti-police and anti-racist movement Black Lives Matter to a terrorist organization in Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad. These controversies, in addition to the abuse issues reported by the publisher, make gTV’s positive angle look bogus.
Beyond smelling of toxic corporate positivity, gTV it is inherently based on the unethical practices of its publisher despite its public efforts to overcome them. Even if there is nothing wrong with the content of this new entertainment show, it is important to continue to acknowledge the real behind-the-scenes abuse and its attackers if the gaming industry ever truly wants to grow beyond the stereotypes and prejudices that Ubisoft has incarnated for the last year.
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