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Ubisoft cuts 98 workers across Canadian offices

The publisher called it ‘a reorganization of its production support services across Canada’

A photograph of the Ubisoft office in Montreal, Canada. The word “Ubisoft” is posted across the brick building in block letters. Photo: Clement Sabourin/AFP via Getty Images
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage publisher Ubisoft is laying off 98 people from its Canadian offices, the company confirmed to Polygon on Tuesday. Ubisoft’s administrative, IT, and VFX studio Hybride — which worked on Disney shows like Ahsoka and The Mandalorian and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — are impacted by the layoff, according to Kotaku, which first reported the layoff. Two percent of Ubisoft’s Canadian workforce was impacted.

The layoffs are intended to “optimize its resources to be more sustainable in the long term,” Ubisoft said in a government filing obtained by Kotaku.

“These are not decisions taken lightly and we are providing comprehensive support for our colleagues who will be leaving Ubisoft during this transition,” a Ubisoft representative said in a statement to Polygon. “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.” We’ve printed the full response below.

Ubisoft has cut roughly 1,300 roles since September 2022, according to an October earnings report, with “continued tight control of recruitments as well as targeted restructurings” — i.e. layoffs. Worldwide, Ubisoft reported 19,410 employees in October, making it one of the largest game companies worldwide. The Ubisoft Montreal office houses more than 4,000 of those workers, some of whom believed the company’s recent return to office mandate was essentially a “soft layoff.” Ubisoft is looking to cut its budget by $215 million as it continues along in the development hell of long-delayed Skull and Bones.

2023 has been a devastating year for the video game industry, which has been overwhelmed with thousands of cut jobs since January. Just last week, Destiny 2 developer Bungie laid off 100 developers; the layoff was pinned to a declining Destiny 2 player base.

Here’s Ubisoft’s full statement:

Over the past few months, every team within Ubisoft has been exploring ways to streamline our operations and enhance our collective efficiency so that we are better positioned for success in the long term. In this context, 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.

As part of this transformation, 98 people, representing less than 2% of our Canadian workforce, from our business administrative services and IT team in Canada will be leaving Ubisoft. All affected Canadian employees will be supported through this change, including severance packages, extended benefits where applicable, and career assistance to help them navigate their transition.

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