Games News

'Assassins Creed Valhalla' Director Steps Down Amid Scandal

Ashraf Ismail announces departure on Twitter after accusations leveled against him.
24 June 2020, 11:33pm
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Ashraf Ismail during an Assassins Creed Event // source

Following allegations about his personal life, Assassins Creed Valhalla Creative Director Ashraf Ismail stepped down today, he announced on Twitter.

Ismail was accused by a former romantic partner of pursuing and maintaining a relationship while concealing and lying about the fact that he was married. In a post on Twitter, the woman accusing him—who goes by Dani—shared a series of screenshots purportedly from their exchanges while in a relationship, and from a more recent exchange where Ismail asked her not to go public with the accusations.

Dani told VICE Games that after seeing other people come forward about their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment in the industry, she felt safe to come forward with her own experiences. “This was nowhere near sexual assault or anything, but seeing the amount of support that they were getting made me feel like it would be okay,” Dani said over Twitter direct messages.

“I didn't want to cancel Valhalla or cancel him—I simply didn't want this to happen to anyone else.”

Ismail’s resignation announcement did not get into specifics of the allegations. He wrote, “I am stepping down from my beloved project to properly deal with the personal issues in my life. The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this.”

“Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence,” Ubisoft told Motherboard in an email. “The development team is committed to delivering a great game in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.”

Ashraf Ismail did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ismail was a prominent developer at Ubisoft Montreal even before being made creative director of Valhalla. He was a director on Origins and Black Flag. According to his LinkedIn, he has been a designer at Ubisoft since 2009.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.