Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Things Are Getting Worse For Assassin's Creed: Valhalla's Creative Director

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla has apparently just lost its director in the latest scandal to rock the gaming community.

According to a report from KotakuUbisoft creative director Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from working on the upcoming Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. In a tweet that is no longer available, Ismail explained that he has "personal issues" to attend to that will keep him from working on the game.


Ismail tweeted, "I am stepping down from my beloved project to properly deal with the personal issues in my life. The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this."

Since then, Ismail's entire Twitter feed has apparently been deleted. He has also been silent on all other social media platforms since this situation began.

According to Kotaku, Ismail's tweet is most likely in reference to an infidelity scandal that has recently come to light surrounding the developer. A streamer who goes by the name of Dani posted a series of screenshots to Twitter that showed conversations between herself and Ismail. 

In an effort to warn people away from getting involved with Ismail, she wrote, "This person is married. When he starts a relationship with you, know he's married. This is why he doesn't want to talk on the phone or facetime or have things sent to his home. His marriage has been confirmed by 3 people. I was with him for a year on and off before finding out."


When people asked her how she couldn't have known, she explained that he had apparently hidden his tracks rather well. She said she asked him why he was wearing a wedding ring in a press appearance at one point. According to Dani, "He said he wore it to honor his family/not embarrass them because they're super traditional, so it would be embarrassing in their culture for him to be unmarried. I didn't pretend to know his culture so I trusted him."

A follow-up tweet included screenshots of Ismail asking Dani not to continue talking about this story. However, she told her Twitter followers that it was important to her that he not try to initiate a relationship like this with anyone else in the future. To that end, she decided to share her story in the hopes that other women wouldn't end up in a similar situation down the road. She also tweeted an apology to Ismail's wife, writing, "Also, if his wife somehow sees this: I'm so sorry, I didn't know, and when I found out, I yelled at him for you. You deserve better."

While some people have seemingly called Dani's motives into question, even more have come to her defense or have thanked her for sharing. Dani has also made it clear that there was a lot more to the story than she was even aware of at first.


In the days since, Dani has spoken to Kotaku to tell her story and share what she's learned since making her Twitter post. According to Dani, multiple other women have come forward who have had similar experiences with Ismail. Dani said that some of these women were from Ubisoft, while others had interacted with him through other social circles, such as social media.

At the end of the day, Dani told Kotaku, "I do feel like it was an abuse of power. He saw me at the Ubisoft booth at E3 2017 ... I had no idea who he was before that. The women who've spoken to me have mostly been much younger than him and have been huge fans of AC, which can obviously affect the power dynamic."

Ubisoft was reached for comment, but has thus far declined to weigh in fully on the situation. All that an Ubisoft rep was able to tell Kotaku was, "Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence. The development team is committed to delivering a great game in Assassin's Creed Valhalla."

The production of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla has already come under fire from some members of the series' fan community for certain aspects of the game. However, this is notably a much more personal issue that effects more than just the integrity of the video game. It is unclear how this will effect the many different studios that are working together on Valhalla, nor is it clear if or when Ismail will be returning to work at Ubisoft, considering the company is referring to this hiatus as "a leave of absence." However, it does look extremely likely that he will not be doing any further work on Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.