In recent years, Ubisoft has come under scrutiny for its handling of allegations of sexual harassment, misconduct, sexism, and racism at the company. A new report by Axios details the mass “exodus” of developers at Ubisoft that has been going on over the past 18 months. Employees still at Ubisoft say this is something that they’ve never seen before. Top-name talent is leaving the company. At least 5 of the top 25 credited people behind Far Cry 6, including Executive Producer Dan Hay who was the most senior creative behind the franchise, has left. 12 of the top 50 credited people from the team behind Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has also left. There are also a lot of mid-level and lower-level workers leaving too. At least 60 total workers have left Ubisoft’s Montreal and Toronto’s studios each in the last six months. Two current developers say that the departures have stalled or slowed projects.
A dozen current and former Ubisoft developers cite a number of different reasons for leaving, ranging from low pay, an abundance of competitive opportunities, frustration at the company’s creative direction, and unease at Ubisoft’s handling of the workplace misconduct scandal that blew up last year. One former Ubisoft worker said they were disappointed by directives from the company’s Paris HQ. “There’s something about the management and creative scraping by the bare minimum that really turned me away.” Another developer with more than a decade of experience at Ubisoft said that the company is “an easy target for recruiters,” given Ubisoft’s issues. A current Ubisoft employer cited the misconduct scandals as a reason. “I think abuse and toxicity are contributing factors but not deciding ones for most.” They added, “Women and people of color experience them as deciding factors.”
Departing employees say that generous competing offers, particularly in the Montreal area are one reason for leaving the company. A programmer told Axios that they were able to triple their take-home pay.
Ubisoft management has said that while attrition is up, the company has hired 2,600 workers since April. Ubisoft’s Head of People Ops, Anika Grant told Axios “Our attrition today is a few percentage points above where it typically is, but it’s still within industry norms.” LinkedIn reports Ubisoft’s attrition rate is 12%. In contrast, it’s lower than Activision Blizzard (16%) whose had its own misconduct scandal getting sued by the state of California; but higher than EA (9%), Take-Two (8%), and Epic Games (7%).
Ubisoft brass says that the company’s standing is comparable to its peers, despite all of the company’s issues. A spokesperson noted that questions in a recent company-wide survey, about whether employees are happy at the company and would “recommend Ubisoft as a great place to work,” returned to a score of 74. They said that it’s in line with the industry average.