Union calls for Ubisoft Paris staff to strike after CEO’s comments

by Danny Craig  · 
Union calls for Ubisoft Paris staff to strike after CEO’s comments

French union Solidaires Informatique has called for a half-day strike in response to recent comments by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, who said "the ball was in the court" of his employees to make the company recover from its poor Q4 financial performance.

The details:

  • The Ubisoft Paris chapter of French workers' union Solidaires Informatique has called for a four-hour strike action between 2 and 6 p.m. on January 27 in response to statements made in an email sent to employees last week. The email called on employees to "give it our all" and "be as efficient and lean as possible," which the union believes to be a shift of blame and could lead to burnout and overworking.
  • Guillemot’s correspondence was a direct response to the poor performance of Ubisoft in the fourth quarter of 2022, which resulted in the cancellation of three unrevealed projects and "targeted restructuring" within the company to cut costs going forward. The CEO also warned staff to be careful with their spending and that "organizational adjustments" and "natural attrition" are on the table. Solidaires Informatique sees these comments as a possible threat of studio closures, layoffs, and/or pay cuts.
  • Solidaires Informatique has also expressed its displeasure with the company's lack of positive practices for employees, "Mr. Guillemot asks a lot from his employees, but without any compensation. Have salaries kept up with the high inflation of recent years? What about the implementation of the four-­day week? What has been put in place for the teams that come out of the productions exhausted (like those of Just Dance or Mario)?"
  • The union has listed four demands from Ubisoft:
    • an immediate 10% increase in all salaries
    • the improvement of working conditions, including the implementation of a four-day workweek
    • transparency on the evolution of both the local and global workforces
    • "a strong commitment against disguised dismissals and a condemnation of abusive managerial policies that push employees to resign"

What else is going on at Ubisoft?

  • As mentioned above, Ubisoft recently reported that its recent titles underperformed in Q4 2022, resulting in three project cancellations and the sixth delay of Ubisoft Singapore’s Skull and Bones. The company will reportedly go through a "targeted restructuring," including the depreciation of €500 million in research and development for its cancelled and free-to-play titles. We have a full write-up of the situation here.
  • Ubisoft Massive is currently working on an Avatar game as well as a new Star Wars open-world title alongside The Division 2's live service. However, a recent job posting for a "Monetization Specialist" at the studio has sparked some concern among fans, who fear that the new Star Wars project will include microtransactions, as The Division 2 already does.

If you’re still looking to work at Ubisoft despite this latest development, you can see all of its active job listings here.

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