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"Riders Republic." Image: Ubisoft

Gaming giant Ubisoft has appointed Igor Manceau as its new chief creative officer, more than a year after that position was vacated amid a company-wide misconduct scandal.

Why it matters: Ubisoft has been trying to convey a sense of lessons learned, as it attempts to right a company rocked by scandal and, just before that, a spate of underperforming games.

  • But Manceau’s appointment was immediately criticized by an employee activist group as a sign that Ubisoft still has fundamental cultural problems.

Between the lines: Manceau first joined Ubisoft in 1998 and most recently served as creative director on “Riders Republic,” an upcoming extreme sports game from the company’s studio in Annecy, France.

  • He replaces Serge Hascoët, who resigned from Ubisoft in July 2020 after accusations he had harassed and enabled others’ harassment of women at the company.

What they’re saying: An employee activist group called “A Better Ubisoft” said it looked forward to working with Manceau.

  • However, in a statement, it urged him to address an open letter demanding change at Ubisoft that was signed by 1,000 current and former workers a month ago.
  • It also questioned Ubisoft’s selection process for the CCO role and other open positions, noting that “the creative team at Ubisoft is composed of white people who are of uniform cultural backgrounds.”
  • Some employees have been pushing for greater diversity in the company’s leadership, blaming that homogeneity as a factor in the global publisher’s issues with fostering an inclusive, healthy work culture.

Go deeper

Ubisoft is the first big publisher to add in-game NFTs

Screenshot: Ubisoft promotional image for one of its in-game NFTs.

Ubisoft military shooter Ghost Recon Breakpoint will get three limited-edition in-game NFT items on Thursday — a helmet, a gun skin (read: look) and leg armor — which players will be able to resell through a new platform called Quartz.

Why it matters: While big game companies including Zynga, Square Enix and Take-Two have dabbled with or expressed interest in NFTs, Ubisoft is the first big publisher to put them in a major game.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

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