Ubisoft facing developer ‘exodus,’ according to new report

Ubisoft facing developer ‘exodus,’ according to new report

Photo: Eric Thomas/AFP via Getty Images

Low pay, better opportunities, and frustration with the company

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla maker Ubisoft is losing developers in what some employees are calling a “great exodus,” according to a new Axios report. Low pay, better opportunities, and frustration with the company’s workplace misconduct allegations are cited as reasons for the higher attrition rate.

Axios interviewed 12 current and former Ubisoft developers about the resignations, noting that five “top 25-credited” developers on Far Cry 6 have left the studio. Twelve people out of the “top 50”-credited developers from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla left, too. But it’s not just big name leads and developers: Axios said Ubisoft’s Canadian studios have seeing losses. Two developers said the resignations have “stalled or slowed projects” at the studio.

Ubisoft reportedly offered pay raises to all employees at its Canadian studios in an attempt to stop workers from leaving, Kotaku reported in November. Ubisoft chief people officer Anika Grant told Axios that the raises helped improve retention by 50%, with retention rate sitting at 12%. However, the raises only applied to Canadian studios, and other Ubisoft developers are frustrated that they haven’t gotten raises.

Ubisoft, like Activision Blizzard, has faced allegations of workplace misconduct and the mishandling of sexual harassment cases in recent years. A Kotaku report in 2020 outlined a culture at Ubisoft in which sexism and harassment are normalized.

“[Bosses] constantly emphasized ‘moving on’ and ‘looking forward’ while ignoring the complaints, concerns and cries of their employees,” one developer told Axios.

The departure of workers at Ubisoft appears to be in line with what some are calling “the Great Resignation,” a movement in which people across industries are quitting jobs at record rates. Montreal, home to Ubisoft’s biggest studio with more than 4,000 employees, is an expanding game development hub, making it easier for workers to look for something new in the city they already work in.

Ubisoft has not responded to Polygon’s request for comment, though a spokesperson told Axios that it has hired 2,600 workers since April.