Last month, it came to light that a number of Ubisoft employees had been accused of insider trading, and sanctions have now been handed down.
France’s AMF Sanctions Committee announced its decision recently, with a total of over £1 million in fines being levelled against five employees across Canada and France.
These employees are alleged to have sold Ubisoft stock back in 2013, motivated by inside knowledge of impending delays to videogames.
Ubisoft’s stock experienced a pretty massive drop following the news that both The Crew and Watch Dogs would be delayed.
Ubisoft – which itself has not been implicated – insists that its employees have done no wrong, suggesting that they ‘acted in good faith’, and claims the employees didn’t know of the delays at the time.
In a statement given to GameSpot, Ubisoft said:
Regrettably, the AMF’s decision represents a serious misunderstanding of the game development and production process at our company and common to our industry. Each major game requires the involvement of multiple teams across the company, but ultimately only the company’s CEO can make an exceptional decision such as changing a game’s release date.
Four of the employees in question (Christine Burgess, Yannis Mallat, Olivier Paris, and Francis Baillet) have announced plans to appeal the decision.
Mallat revealed that they plan to continue to defend their actions, labelling the verdict as ‘unjustified, unfounded, and illegal’.
Damien Moret is the only one of the five who doesn’t look like he plans to appeal, with the smallest fine of the lot at just 15,000 EUR (about £12,600).
It’s not the best time for Ubisoft, who are also currently in the middle of fending off a hostile takeover from Vivendi.