Ubisoft Brand Marketing Manager Andrien Gbinigie is accused of sexual assault by Kairos Media Senior Account Executive Kathryn Johnston.
Ubisoft Brand Marketing Manager Andrien Gbinigie has been accused of rape by gaming industry peer Kathryn Johnston. This comes about after Johnston detailing her online account of Gbinigie’s alleged actions at and leading up to PAX East 2014. Johnston is the first of several women to level accusations at Gbinigie.
Andrien Gbinigie has been working at Ubisoft for the last eight years on titles such as Assassin’s Creed and For Honor. At the time of this allegation, he was a community manager working on Assassin’s Creed: Initiates. Since then, he’s been promoted several times within Ubisoft to his current role of Brand Marketing Manager. Kathryn Johnston is the Senior Account Executive for Kairos Media and was working as a community manager and staff writer for PureXbox during PAX East 2014. The two have known each other since around 2011 and were friendly going into the conference. On several prior occasions, Johnston claims that Gbinigie had inappropriately sexually pressured her, using his industry connections as leverage.
Related: Ubisoft Angers Consumers Over TrackMania Subscription Model
On June 22, Johnston tweeted her sexual assault accusation, which can be found below. Her claims retweeted and backed up by Hannah Rutherford, web personality and former Yogscast employee. Rutherford she’s “heard from multiple women” who claim to have been targeted by Gbinigie, sharing, “I believe them.” YouTuber and former Ubisoft developer Jason Paradise corroborates Johnston’s story, who allegedly brought the story up to “Ubisoft management” at the time, but claims, “They declined to follow up on this.” When Screen Rant reached out to Ubisoft for comment, the publisher stated, “We are deeply concerned by these accusations. We take any allegations of abuse or harassment very seriously and we are looking very closely into the allegations to determine next steps.”
Gbinigie has responded to his allegation in a Medium post, which is prefaced by the statement, “I am writing this to categorically and vehemently deny the allegation of rape leveled against me by Kathryn Johnston.” His account of what occurred at PAX East 2014 is combined with disparate images of digital receipts and allegedly backed-up text conversations. His story is more incomplete, making no mention of his and Johnston’s interactions prior to the event nor of his other accusers.
This is not Ubisoft’s only allegation of the day, as their Associate Director of Public Relations Stone Chin has also been accused of similar sexual misconduct by John Sylvester, who he accuses (along with Logitech’s Alex Momney) of being “sexual predators.” Nutaku’s Jay Acevedo doubles down on Sylvester’s claim with his own, implying that Ubisoft San Francisco had previously ignored him when he “suggested the investigation” of Chin’s alleged behavior. Much like the accusations aimed at Gbinigie, these statements about Stone Chin come with dozens of comments that variously backing up them up, express shock, and show support for victims.
In the years since GamerGate, the gaming community has forced the industry to look into the mirror and deal with its systemic misogyny bit by bit. Since the #MeToo movement, more accounts of sexual assault and harassment have come to light, and many survivors have received the same closure that Johnston is seeking. After further investigation, Ubisoft‘s statement will hopefully be followed up with choices that push the industry further from its sexist history. For now, these and other accusations must be laid out and considered carefully, as they always should in such sensitive situations.
More: The Witcher & Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Is Now More Valuable Than Ubisoft
Source: Kathryn Johnston, Hannah Rutherford, Jason Paradise, Andrien Gbinigie
How Batman Comics Shaped Michael Keaton’s Version