Ubisoft is reportedly hemorrhaging workers in 'the great exodus'

midian182

Posts: 7,797   +80
Staff member
In brief: Ubisoft has long had a reputation for being one of the world’s most disliked gaming companies, and it’s starting to look like some employees feel the same way. The Assassin’s Creed Valhalla developer is reportedly hemorrhaging staff in what some are calling a “great exodus” and “the cut artery.”

A report by Axios claims that Ubisoft has seen “massive departures” over the past 18 months. At least five of the top 25-credited people from Far Cry 6, which only launched in October, have gone, while twelve people out of the top 50-credited developers from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla also waved goodbye to the company.

According to two current developers, these departures are impacting current projects, causing delays and postponements.

Both mid-level and lower-level workers are also leaving, with Ubisoft’s Canadian studios being particularly affected. According to LinkedIn, the Montreal and Toronto studios are down at least 60 workers in the last six months. The business-focused platform also shows that Ubisoft’s attrition rate is 12%, higher than EA (9%), Take-Two (8%), and Epic Games (7%), though it's still lower than Activision Blizzard, which has a 16% rate—for obvious reasons.

"Our attrition today is a few percentage points above where it typically is," Ubisoft's head of people ops, Anika Grant, told Axios in an interview. "But it's still within industry norms."

Employees say there are several factors behind the departures, including low pay, opportunities at other studios, frustration at the company's creative direction, and the #MeToo and toxicity allegations that have surrounded Ubisoft in recent times.

"I think abuse and toxicity are contributing factors but not deciding ones for most," a current Ubisoft developer said of why colleagues were leaving, adding that "Women and people of color experience them as deciding factors."

Ubisoft has faced criticism lately over its plan to implement non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in Ghost Recon Breakpoint; the YouTube announcement video attracted over 30,000 dislikes.

In its defense, Ubisoft pointed out that it has hired 2,600 workers since April and that a recent company-wide satisfaction survey returned a score of 74, in line with the industry average. The departures are also likely linked to “the Great Resignation,” a movement in which employees are fighting back against low pay, poor conditions, and companies that force them to place work above everything else in their lives.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,104   +4,026
I bet the only way they can tell it's happening is the fact that they're leaving by themselves instead of waiting to be fired right after releasing a major game.
 

R00sT3R

Posts: 618   +1,806
When you work for a company the size of Ubisoft it must feel like an impersonal, soul crushing, monotonous factory like experience, just churning out the same old, by the numbers stuff, with a new skin, every year...
 

Ohnooze

Posts: 160   +370
It would be interesting to know how bad it really is at Ubi. Unfortunately these days it's almost abuse just asking people to work over time. Not saying they don't have issues but "abuse" is used way too freely now a days.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 491   +623
It would be interesting to know how bad it really is at Ubi. Unfortunately these days it's almost abuse just asking people to work over time. Not saying they don't have issues but "abuse" is used way too freely now a days.

If it were just "asking" you'd be right, but nowadays it's "asking" with an implicit "or else" at the end. And that is abusive. And cynical.

Interesting how Ubi use the industry average defence. That industry includes Activision/Blizzard amongst its piers!
 

VariableSpike

Posts: 80   +101
If it were just "asking" you'd be right, but nowadays it's "asking" with an implicit "or else" at the end. And that is abusive. And cynical.

Interesting how Ubi use the industry average defence. That industry includes Activision/Blizzard amongst its piers!
The industry average thing is a joke, just because other people do it, doesn't mean its right
 

mbk34

Posts: 293   +198
To be fair, 74% satisfaction in their workplace is fairly reasonable. Obviously companies should always aim higher, or at least as high as their competitors, but how would you rate your satisfaction with your own job?

The industry is also a little handicapped as players don't want small fun games but large photo realistic games and these require huge commitment from the developers. Players also want the latest features and spending 3 years on a game means the game is likely to look 3 years old by the time it's released. It's obviously a more guaranteed income if they produce a follow on to an existing game but that's dull for the developers who want to work on new stuff.

It's then all compounded by young folk queuing up at the door to work there. Those that work hardest become young managers with little experience and then they expect everyone else to work like they did ... and enjoy it!
 

EnTaroTzula

Posts: 9   +10
I just tried thinking if I liked any ubisoft games and I cant think of one...would it be such a big deal if all of their employees find better employment and that company goes on a permanent hiatus?
 

Tantor

Posts: 297   +541
Mandatory Injections - I know several people who quit their jobs over it. Who the hell wants to risk getting myocarditis, serious autoimmune disorder or nerve damage. Read Robert Kennedy's latest book, The Real Fauci if you want to understand what's really going on.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,685   +7,590
Sadly, the only way to force an improvement would be to unionize, which in this kind of company would be nearly impossible. Upper management obviously isn't concerned because they get ready replacements but if all that work or have worked there keep putting the word out the company will find it nearly impossible to recruit and that WILL cause some changes .... unfortunately not at the top where this kind of attitude starts .....
 

Tantor

Posts: 297   +541
Sadly, the only way to force an improvement would be to unionize, which in this kind of company would be nearly impossible. Upper management obviously isn't concerned because they get ready replacements but if all that work or have worked there keep putting the word out the company will find it nearly impossible to recruit and that WILL cause some changes .... unfortunately not at the top where this kind of attitude starts .....

True. Many modern corporate leaders push a line of 'tolerance', 'respect', 'equity'. but underneath that they maintain an iron fist. They can not allow workers to unionize or organize in their own interests. They see the common man as a herd animal that must be guided. They play a masterful game of divide and conquer against their own workers. Something that has become obvious over the last few years is the high level of distrust that many societal elites have for working class people. It's a very old phenomenon, the ancients were well aware of it. The American founding fathers wrote extensively about it. In the modern world, however, most working class people are not aware of it.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,049   +855
1) Money can't be an issue since they don't pay that large 30% cut to STEAM and have their own launcher.
2.With COVID the gaming/movie should be booming.
3.) Are the people hire up getting more greedy?
4.) Are the workers burned out?
5.) I do notice the last few years the gaming market has been spitting out trash quality games but how can that happen when PC/CONSOLE coding is almost the same due to the same hardware.
 

Ohnooze

Posts: 160   +370
I just tried thinking if I liked any ubisoft games and I cant think of one...would it be such a big deal if all of their employees find better employment and that company goes on a permanent hiatus?
They have some talent over there though. The problem is that upper management are a bunch of bean counters and don't care about gaming.
Look at what they have done to Ghost Recon over the years. The game came to popularity for being a different kind of shooter with a much more realistic feel. So what did management do once it gained popularity....turned it into a 3rd person action game designed for consoles.
Unfortunately it's all about money now a days and no longer a love for games.
 

Angga B

Posts: 166   +138
Uh huh. Yeah. Toxicity. Accusations flying.
If that's the case my experience told me never to believe the story I first heard. Especially if it's only one side.

Shall I say, great journalism, Techspot?
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,206   +2,612
TechSpot Elite
This isn't really a surprise. You can't get away with low pay and workplace abuse in Canada as easily as the USA because we don't lose our health coverage if we become unemployed. There's also the fact that Quebec has the most developed social safety net of all the provinces and Ubisoft's biggest Studio is Ubisoft Montreal. I'm willing to bet that the majority of the resignations are there.

Unfortunately for us, when the unrealistic pressures of modern capitalism fall upon us, toxicity is an all-too common result. When you're a manager who is ordered to have unrealistic expectations of the people below you while paying them peanuts, you get pissed at your bosses for giving that order and that affects your disposition when dealing with underlings. Add to that the unrealistic expectations for low pay that you've been ordered to impose the workplace immediately becomes toxic.

The employees all suffer because the people at the top aren't happy with the billions that they already have. Capitalism's a wonderful thing, eh?
 
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ZedRM

Posts: 948   +658
Ubisoft is reportedly hemorrhaging workers in 'the great exodus
With Ubisoft sticking to "priciples" like NFT's among other nonsense, can anyone be surprised that the company culture is suffering and people don't want to be there?