- Ubisoft’s downsizing has resulted in 124 employees being laid off from the company.
- 98 of those employees were from the business administrative services and IT from Canada.
- The Hybride VFX studio located in Montreal was also affected.
R2023 continues to be a terrible year for the actual people behind the games as Ubisoft lays off 124 employees worldwide. As reported by Kotaku, the cuts come largely from Ubisoft’s business administrative services and IT from Canada, as well as the Hybride VFX studio located in Montreal with 98 employees that have been let go.
Ubisoft also had this to say in their statement to PCGamer:
Over the past few months, every team within Ubisoft has been exploring ways to streamline our operations and enhance our collective efficiency so that we are better positioned for success in the long term, In this context, today we announced that we are reorganizing our Canadian studios’ general and administrative functions and reducing headcount in Hybride (our VFX studio based in Montreal) and in our global IT team, which impacts 124 positions overall. These are not decisions taken lightly and we are providing comprehensive support for our colleagues who will be leaving Ubisoft during this transition. We also want to share our utmost gratitude and respect for their many contributions to the company. This restructuring does not affect our production teams.”
The publisher assured that employees would retain benefits “where applicable” including severance packages and career assistance for those affected. Even so, Ubisoft does not look like it is having the most profitable year following setbacks across the board including a delay of their upcoming pirate fantasy simulator Skull and Bones and the lukewarm reception of Assassins Creed Mirage.
As part of this transformation, 98 people, representing less than 2% of our Canadian workforce, from our business administrative services and IT team will be leaving Ubisoft. All affected Canadian employees will be supported through this change, including severance packages, extended benefits where applicable, and career assistance to help them navigate their transition.”
Earlier this year Ubisoft employees also went on strike following comments from CEO Yves Guillemot that hinted at budget cuts and layoffs within the company. The company also had an embarrassing phase where they used Ghost Recon Breakpoint to push NFTs which exploded back in their face in a spectacular fashion.
It is safe to say that even though 2023 is a year of fantastic games and stands toe-to-toe with 2017 and 1998 in terms of quality, by many it will continue to be remembered as a dark era for the folks working under the hood. Major publishers such as Electronic Arts, Square Enix, and Embracer have been responsible for layoffs in various studios.
Things continue to get worse with the recent announcement of Microsoft partnering with a startup AI company called Inworld AI which is working to bring generative AI into game development. According to Microsoft, this will be used to write scripts for NPCs, generate quests, and create dialogue for characters. Maybe it’s time for the video games industry to follow in the footsteps of SAG-AFTRA and WGA.
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