Ubisoft employees plan strike over CEO e-mail about dismal losses


Staff at Ubisoft, the corporate behind video games like Simply Dance and Murderer’s Creed, plan to go on strike subsequent week after CEO Yves Guillemot emailed them about dismal monetary outcomes, saying “the ball is in your court docket to ship.”

In a Jan. 11 e-mail considered by The Washington Put up, Guillemot wrote that the corporate expects a ten% income lower this yr and a lack of over 500 million euros. “I would like your full power and dedication to make sure we get again on the trail to success,” he wrote, and requested that workers work even tougher and watch their spending.

Workers at Ubisoft Paris intend to strike on Jan. 27 for half a day to protest the remarks.

Ubisoft is likely one of the largest publishers within the online game trade, finest recognized for its Murderer’s Creed and Far Cry sequence. Ubisoft, alongside a number of different main gaming publishers, has been on the coronary heart of seismic adjustments to the trade over the previous a number of years, together with a reckoning round office misconduct — an issue the corporate’s leaders insist has been correctly handled, and have sought to place behind them.

The way forward for Ubisoft: Firm executives dish on what’s forward for the gaming behemoth

Guillemot’s e-mail famous that Ubisoft had already canceled seven video games since final July to “restrict dangers.” Staff took challenge with how Guillemot attributed the “disappointing” information to workers needing to ship at a better stage of high quality, and the way a few of his language may very well be taken to suggest future layoffs, wage cuts and studio closures.

“Individuals had been offended about Guillemot’s e-mail, which each requested individuals to work extra whereas reducing the groups, and supplied nothing in trade,” mentioned Marc Rutschle, a senior recreation designer and union consultant at Ubisoft Paris, who added that workers weren’t accountable for Ubisoft shedding cash from investing in non-fungible tokens or within the now-defunct battle royale recreation “Hyper Scape,” which foundered in an oversaturated market.

“Guillemot makes use of phrases like ‘organizational changes,’” Rutschle mentioned. “We all know these phrases as a result of we’ve got seen them used at different firms and it at all times means layoff plans.”

Rutschle is a part of the Solidaires Informatique commerce union for French employees, which is organizing the strike. Ubisoft declined to remark.

Guillemot supplied his workers an apology throughout a Q&A Wednesday. “I heard your suggestions and I’m sorry this was perceived that manner,” the manager informed workers, in accordance with gaming information outlet Kotaku. “When saying ‘the ball is in your court docket’ to ship our lineup on time and on the anticipated stage of high quality, I wished to convey the concept that greater than ever I would like your expertise and power to make it occur. It is a collective journey that begins in fact with myself and with the management group to create the circumstances for all of us to succeed collectively.”

The apology acquired a combined response from attendees, in accordance with Kotaku.

Anybody from the Ubisoft Paris workplace can be part of the strike, although it’s unclear what number of employees plan to attend. The strike is deliberate for two to six p.m. in Paris, in order that it doesn’t disrupt recreation manufacturing, in accordance with Rutschle.

Staff are demanding Ubisoft enhance salaries by 10% to regulate for inflation, citing Tencent’s $297 million funding within the firm final September. They’re additionally asking for a four-day workweek, which another gaming studios have applied to enhance work-life steadiness.


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