Ubisoft is another game company to cut its workforce, with new layoffs affecting employees in its Canadian offices. This comes after the publisher announced a mandatory return-to-office policy.
Kotaku broke the news on November 7, citing Ubisoft’s notice to the government of Quebec. The layoffs, which are part of a reorganization of its production support services across Canada, will allow the company to “optimize its resources to be more sustainable in the long term.”
As a result, 75 employees at Ubisoft Montreal will be let go. The publisher later confirmed the news, saying that a total of “98 people, representing less than 2% of our Canadian workforce, from our business administrative services and IT team will be leaving Ubisoft.”
[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.
In September, Ubisoft Montreal issued a mandatory return-to-office order, with most of the over 4,000 employees returning to the office for the first time in three years. As reported by IGN, many devs accused the company of breaking its promises around the 100% work-from-home model, with multiple people saying they believed it was a permanent policy.
Several employees described the move as a “soft layoff on the part of Ubisoft in an effort to assuage said recent financial woes.” And now the company has started actually cutting jobs.
In January, Ubisoft announced its plans to cut over €200 million in operating costs over the next two years through “targeted restructuring, divesting some non-core assets and usual natural attrition.” It has also written off €500 million in R&D costs related to unreleased titles and canceled three unannounced games.
As of September 2023, Ubisoft had 19,410 employees globally, compared to 20,729 at the end of September 2022.
The French publisher is one of many game companies that have conducted layoffs this year. According to videogamelayoffs.com, at least 6,500 games industry specialists have already lost their jobs in 2023. affected companies of all sizes, including BioWare, CD Projekt, Epic Games, Team17, Telltale Games, Daedalic, Bungie, Media Molecule, and more.