Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director steps down amid controversy

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla‘s creative director, Ashraf Ismail, is stepping down from his post to deal with “personal issues.” This comes right after accusations of his infidelity spread on Twitter over the weekend.

He sent out two tweets about this decision, one announcing it and the other saying that the game is in good hands before deleting his account. He also apologized and said that the “lives of [his] family and [his] own are shattered.” Ismail was the game director of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Origins, which are two of the more well-regarded entries in the series.

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Ismail came under fire over the weekend as Twitter user matronedea alleged that he had failed to disclose his marital status before engaging in another relationship with her and then used secretive behavior to hide it from his spouse. She then posted screen shots of the text messages the two had apparently sent each other. In the replies, she also alleged that he did this other women as well.

While some less nuanced individuals have been quick to point out that this isn’t assault and therefore not worthy of bringing up, matronedea dove into out why this behavior is unacceptable and why it deserves to come out.

“If someone is routinely seeking out partners who are 8-18 years younger than them and fans of theirs, that person is seeking out people they can take advantage of,” she tweeted. “They are abusing their position of power. It’s not rape, but that does not make it okay.”

Abuse of power is a consistent pattern through almost all of these allegations no matter what form they take. Former IGN staff claimed that some of the site’s previous bosses were also leveraging their positions to demean or harass their employees. This all came to a head when ex-IGN editor Mitch Dyer accused those same bosses of inserting gossip into stories or publishing false rumors without looking into them.

Many of the stories alleging abuse that bubbled up over the weekend have been compiled in a Medium article and Google Sheet post where multiple users have shared their own anecdotes.