A report on Axios says that over the past 18 months so many Ubisoft employees have left the company that those remaining have begun to call it “the great exodus” and “the cut artery.”
The story says that over that time period — which coincides with both a global pandemic and a trend that’s become known as The Great Resignation — so many developers and staffers have quit that ”the departures have stalled or slowed projects”.
A look at LinkedIn departure statistics, which aren’t a perfect metric but are certainly useful, show that Ubisoft’s annual attrition rate is at 12% among its 20,000-strong workforce, which is significantly higher than competitors like EA (9%) and Epic (7%). That said, one company’s rate was even higher: Activision Blizzard, at 16%. I wonder why that could be.
There are multiple reasons for the departures. A significant one is simply the realities of the workforce situation in Montreal, where the company has a large presence and where “attrition at Ubisoft’s main studio doubled for a time”. Fierce competition from rivals and start-ups mean Ubisoft’s workers can make more money elsewhere, though to combat this Ubisoft recently announced payrises for its Canadian employees, which in turn “frustrated developers in other studios who wonder when they’re getting raises too.”
The company’s horrific track record with abuse allegations and other PR disasters — like its dabbling with NFTs — have also played a part, with one former employee telling Axios “The company’s reputation was too much to bear. It’s legitimately embarrassing.”
For a more practical example of how this is affecting the company’s series and games, “at least five of the top 25-credited people” from Far Cry 6 — which was only released in October! — have already left Ubisoft, and 12 from 50 of those from 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla have departed as well.
Oh, and to close this out: “One developer recently said a colleague currently at Ubisoft contacted them to solve an issue with a game, because no one was still there who knew the system”.
You can read the full report here.