Five executives from Ubisoft accused of insider trading have been fined a total of €1.2 million by French regulators, including the CEO of Ubisoft Montreal, Yannis Mallat, whose individual fine is €700,000. The company has said it will appeal the decision and continues to support the executives, saying that the regulator does not understand how its games are made.
“Ubisoft acknowledges the AMF’s decision, but continues to assert that the people involved acted in good faith. We are convinced that these team members did not intentionally commit any acts contrary to market regulations,” Ubisoft asserts. “Similarly, given the processes and timetables involved in the production of major games at our company and within our industry in general, we believe that at the time they carried out their transactions these employees could not have been aware of or anticipate the subsequent decision to postpone the game that would be taken by Yves Guillemot on October 11, 2013.”
“Regrettably, the AMF’s decision represents a serious misunderstanding of the game development and production process at our company and common to our industry. Each major game requires the involvement of multiple teams across the company, but ultimately only the company’s CEO can make an exceptional decision such as changing a game’s release date.”
The AMF believes that Yannis Mallat, Olivier Paris, Francis Baillet, Christine Burgess, and Damien Moret used insider knowledge of unannounced changes to the Holiday 2013 release schedule to sell company stock before the delays of Watch Dogs and The Crewwere made public. Ubisoft share value fell significantly following the announcement that two major titles would miss the Holiday release window.
The full list of penalties follows below. You can read the AMF’s full decision here. It’s currently only available in French.
- Christine Burgess — 200,000 EUR (about $211,000)
- Yannis Mallat — 700,000 EUR (about $737,000)
- Olivier Paris — 100,000 EUR (about $105,000)
- Francis Baillet — 200,000 EUR (about $211,000)
- Damien Moret — 15,000 EUR (about $15,800)