Ubisoft studios in Canada are suffering from what some employees refer to as a “exodus” of workers. In the past six months, more than 60 Ubisoft Montreal workers and as many Ubisoft Toronto workers have left the company responsible for Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry Y Watch Dogs, according to a dozen developers who currently work or worked at the company who have spoken anonymously with the North American media Axios. The situation is causing the development of projects to slow down.
In total, according to statistics from the LinkedIn social network reviewed by the aforementioned header, more than 120 employees have left Ubisoft Montreal (Assassin’s Creed Valhalla) and Ubisoft Toronto (Far Cry 6) in the last six months. Five of the 25 main managers of Far Cry 6 they have left the company. 12 of the most accredited employees in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla They are no longer part of Ubisoft. Among them is Eric Baptizat, game director at Valhalla, who went to EA Motive to direct Dead Space Remake. The company, among all its headquarters, has more than 20,000 employees.
The march of these key figures is affecting the development of videogames in which both studios work. One of the departed employees says that a developer called him recently asking how to fix a problem with a game because there was no one left in the studio who knew about that particular system.
The motivations for leaving Ubisoft Toronto and Ubisoft Montreal, according to these employees, are several: low salaries, frustration with the creative direction, the way Ubisoft has dealt with the cases of abuse and harassment that have been uncovered over the last few months, and the more attractive opportunities (with net salaries up to tripled) in other Canadian studies.
In recent months, Canada, a country where it had already established a strong business fabric for the development of video games, is experiencing an explosion of new studios or headquarters. MiHoYo (Genshin Impact), TiMi Studios (Pokmon Unite), 2K Games, Amazon, Quantic Dream, DontNod Entertainment, Gearbox, New World Interactive, Phoenix Labs, Room 8, Deck 13, Haven, and Raccoon Logic are just a few that have opened in the last year.
A representative for Ubisoft says the company has hired more than 2,600 employees since April. The figure is lower than in previous years: in 2019 and 2020, more than 4,500 employees were hired each year. The company admits that the percentage of employees leaving (12% according to LinkedIn) It is some point higher than in previous years, but they assure that “it is within the norm in the industry”: Activision Blizzard beats it (16%), but the other big firms are behind, such as EA (9%), Take Two (8%) and Epic Games (7%).
To solve the situation, Ubisoft has increased salary of employees from its Toronto and Montreal studios, which has increased worker retention by as much as 50%, but has also pissed off the developers of other studios of the company who expect a salary increase. An anonymous survey of employees on whether recommend working in the company to others it resulted in a 74 out of 100, something that is in the average of the industry according to Ubisoft.
These studies work on a new Splinter Cell and in the evolution of Assassin’s Creed
Ubisoft Montreal together with Ubisoft Quebec are leading the development of the new project of Assassin’s Creed along with additional content from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla What Dawn of Ragnark. Ubisoft Toronto, in addition to working on the DLC for Far Cry 6, the development of a new Splinter Cell.