Ubisoft gamers who enjoy making the lives of other players miserable with bullying, racism, and other ill-regarded behavior may end up getting a visit from the police. According to a report from the BBC, the publisher behind the Assassin’s Creed and Rainbow Six franchises has signed a first-of-its-kind deal with local law enforcement to tackle the issue of toxic gaming, a collaboration that the company hopes will start a conversation within the industry and prompt others to do the same. The department that Ubisoft is working with is the UK’s Northumbria Police, which polices Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, and the City of Sunderland, as well as the ceremonial county of Northumberland.
From a BBC report:
“We want to be on the right side of history,” says Damien Glorieux a senior director of the Newcastle-based Ubisoft Customer Relationship Centre.
It’s here, and at four other locations around the world, that staff monitor how players of Ubisoft games are getting on – responding to requests for help and actively getting involved with the communities that have evolved around their titles. They deal with everything from purchasing issues to online toxicity.
Other companies have similar set-ups, but what’s unique here is the involvement of local law enforcement.
The deal between the company and Northumbria Police works in two parts.
Firstly, it sees specialist officers share their knowledge and expertise on harmful online interactions with the 200-strong team working at the centre in Newcastle, who then apply that training to their daily work.
Secondly, an agreement is in place so that in extreme cases, where there is a threat to life or potential serious harm spotted, staff can fast track the information to police.
They will then decide whether or not to act.