Ubisoft staff departures described as “The great exodus”

Frustration at the company’s creative direction cited as a reason for departures

Ubisoft staff have been leaving the studios at such a rate that it has been nicknamed internally as “The great exodus” or “The cut artery”.

While the great resignation is a global phenomenon, it appears that Ubisoft has been hit particularly hard, especially with high-level staff for Assassins Creed and Far Cry leaving the company. Several departures have been happening in quick succession, according to a report from Axios.

“Top-name talent is leaving, with at least five of the top 25-credited people from the company’s biggest 2021 game, Far Cry 6, already gone. Twelve of the top 50 from last year’s biggest Ubisoft release, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, have left too. (A 13th recently returned)”, the report states.

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“Also out are mid-level and lower-level workers as headcounts drop, particularly in Ubisoft’s large and normally growing Canadian studios,” Axios adds. “LinkedIn shows Ubisoft’s Montreal and Toronto studios each down at least 60 total workers in the last six months.”

Interviews with a dozen current and former Ubisoft developers have said that there are a range of reasons for the departures. These include low pay, an abundance of competitive opportunities, frustration at the company’s creative direction – many staff are uncomfortable with the company’s move towards NFTs, as one example – and unease at Ubisoft’s handling of a workplace misconduct scandal that was uncovered in 2020.

Ubisoft’s head of people ops, Anika Grant said “Our attrition today is a few percentage points above where it typically is. But it’s still within industry norms.” Ubisoft also said that it has hired over 2,600 workers since April this year. According to LinkedIn, Ubisoft’s attrition rate is 12 per cent. This is worked out by counting the number of professionals leaving the company in a 12 month period and dividing it by the average number of employees. Activision Blizzard currently has an attrition rate of 16per cent, for comparison.

In other news, GTA Trilogy owners can claim a free PC game. This deal extends to those who buy the remasters as part of a holiday bundle.

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