Many have contributed to the Assassin’s Creed games over the years, but in recent years, few have had a greater influence on the franchise than Ashraf Ismail. As director of Assassin’s Creed IV and Assassin’s Creed Origins, Ismail has overseen some of the series' most acclaimed and innovative entries, but as of today Ismail will no longer be directing the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Valhalla in the wake of allegations about his personal life.
Today Ismail announced on Twitter that he is stepping aside as director of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla in order to “properly deal with personal issues in my life.” Ismail has since deleted his Twitter account, but you can find a screenshot of his tweets below.
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. [...] There are hundreds of talented, passionate people striving to build an experience for you that do not deserve to be associated with this. I wish them all the best.
Ismail’s announcement follows an allegation by a Twitter user that he lied about his marital status while engaging in a year-long affair. The accuser did not work with Ismail. Ubisoft provided IGN with the following brief statement regarding Ismail resigning as Valhalla’s director…
Ishraf Ismail is stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence. The development team is committed to delivering a great game in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Based on that statement, it seems like Ismail hasn't been fired by Ubisoft following the allegations, and that stepping down as Valhalla director was a personal decision.
Over the past few days, allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and general questionable behavior have been levied against a number of video game developers, streamers, and journalists. Earlier this week Techland parted ways with prolific video game writer Chris Avellone following multiple allegations of workplace sexual harassment.