Five Ubisoft executives are being accused of insider trading and are being investigated by the French stock market regulator.
The accusations have come about after it was revealed that the five executives sold off company shares in Ubisoft three months before Watch Dogs and The Crew were announced as being delayed back in 2013. Watch Dogs and The Crew were supposed to be two of Ubisoft’s biggest titles to release that year and were, therefore, helping Ubisoft’s stock price remain healthy.
As a result they are being accused of selling off shares in the company while they had knowledge of the impending delays which they knew would have lowered the price of Ubisoft’s shares. This would be against trading regulations as they would be taking advantage of insider knowledge to help gain as much money as possible as the shares plummeted immediately after the delays were announced. Of course, the executives had already sold their shares by that point.
All of the accused have denied the allegations that have been brought against them, with Ubisoft Montreal’s CEO Yannis Mallat insisting that he had no information about the delay of Watch Dogs and The Crew when he sold his shares.
“I had no information about the delay of Watch Dogs, let alone The Crew, let alone the fact that the announcement would not provide a new launch date which, I think, probably had the most impact,” ” Mallat told French-Canadian newspaper La Presse .
“All our explanations, all our testimonies, all our emails are ignored in a systematic way. Everything shows that the AMF has a poor understanding of how games are made.”
Three of the five executives have been named and include Ubisoft Montreal’s Olivier Paris, Francis Baillet and CEO Yannis Mallat. The other two executives are yet to be named but are said to be located in France, home of Ubisoft’s headquarters.
A hearing is scheduled to take place on Friday November 18th in Paris.