Ubisoft was reportedly developing a new RPG title centered around King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, but it was scrapped by a now-disgraced former Ubisoft executive before it had time to get off the ground.
In 2018, Ubisoft hired Mike Laidlaw, who was a designer on the Dragon Age series. Given Laidlaw’s history in working on epic fantasy titles, he started work on a game that was code-named Avalon. This title was going to center around the legend of King Arthur, but it never got off the ground.
Embattled former chief creative officer of Ubisoft, Serge Hascoet, cancelled the title before it got too far along in development. Sources indicated that Hascoet’s reasoning for the title’s cancellation was that he did not believe a fantasy genre game would work unless it was “better than Tolkien.”
Apparently he never played Dragon Age…
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Ubisoft noted that the company “does not comment on canceled projects.”
Putting the kybosh on Avalon might have been one of the last major decisions of Hascoet’s career over at Ubisoft. He first rose to prominence within the company due to his involvement in guiding Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, two incredibly successful franchises for Ubisoft.
By the time Avalon hit his desk, Hascoet had near total creative control over all projects at Ubisoft, and could kill a game dead in its tracks with a simple word.
Laidlaw tried again, working for months to convince Hascoet. He attempted to shift the focus of the game to science fiction, and again toward Greek mythology. He leaned into a focus on cooperative multiplayer elements. Hascoet was reportedly unmoved and canceled the project completely in fall of 2019.
Hascoet’s level of power at Ubisoft is rare in the gaming world. Most studios have a team of creative managers leading them, but was not the case here.
Hascoet resigned from Ubisoft earlier this month after several sexual misconduct allegations came out involving him. Recent investigations into Ubisoft revealed a culture of sexual harassment, abuse, and sexism throughout the studio. Hascoet was one of many Ubisoft employees to resign as a result.
“Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees,” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement. “This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised, and never will. I am committed to implementing profound changes across the company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture.”