UNION CALLS ON UBISOFT PARIS DEVELOPERS TO STRIKE FOLLOWING YVES GUILLEMOT’S LATEST EMPLOYEE ADDRESS
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Union Calls On Ubisoft Paris Developers To Strike Following Yves Guillemot’s Latest Employee Address.
Ubisoft Paris employees have been called to strike after Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot delivered a speech to the company’s employees that many saw as “worrying.”
The union, Solidaires Informatique, discusses how Guillemot’s message depicts a struggling Ubisoft and tells his staff that “the ball is in their court” to keep the company on track.
According to Solidaires Informatique, even though the ball is in the employees’ court, “the money stays in his pocket.”
“In his most recent comments, Mr. Guillemot predicts a bleak future for Ubisoft. The plea to employees to be “particularly careful and strategic with your expenditures” is not funny, given the company’s editorial strategy over the last few years.
Mr. Guillemot’s use of the terms “attrition” and “organisational changes” refers to staff cutbacks, discrete studio closures, wage cuts, disguised layoffs, and so on.
On multiple occasions, Mr. Guillemot is trying to shift the burden (once again) onto the staff; he expects us to be mobilised, to ‘give it our best,’ to be ‘as efficient and lean as possible’.
These terms have meaning: overtime, managerial pressure, burnout, and so on.”
The union has called for a strike on Friday, January 27, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, it outlined four demands.
- An immediate 10% increase for all salaries, regardless of annual increases, to compensate for inflation. With hundreds of millions of euros obtained from Tencent, there is money in the coffers of the employers.
- The improvement of working conditions, with in particular the implementation of a 4-day week.
- Transparency on the evolution of the workforce, both locally and globally
- A strong commitment against disguised dismissals and a condemnation of abusive managerial policies that push employees to resign.”
Ubisoft has been battling with troubles across all of its studios publicly for the last few years, and Yves Guillemot has been identified as a source of many of the company’s problems.
It will be fascinating to observe how many employees respond to the strike call and what potential conversations ensue.
Ubisoft’s headquarters are in Paris, and if all of the requests outlined become reality, it might mean big changes for the worldwide Ubisoft, hopefully for the better.
Recently Ubisoft delayed Skull & Bones Again, and cancelled three Unannounced Games.
They appear to be in danger, as its highly anticipated pirate adventure Skull & Bones has been postponed yet again, for the sixth time in a row, and will now be released sometime between the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024.
In addition, Ubisoft has cancelled three undisclosed projects while adjusting its financial projections for the third quarter of 2022-23, blaming “lower-than-expected” sales for recent releases such as Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope and Just Dance 2023.
Three more projects are being cancelled. Today also brings Ubisoft’s total number of cancelled projects in less than a year to seven. The publisher claims to be trying to cut expenditures by $200 million.
“We are clearly disappointed by our recent performance.” stated co-founder and chief executive officer Yves Guilliemot.
“We are facing contrasted market dynamics as the industry continues to shift towards mega-brands and everlasting live games, in the context of worsening economic conditions affecting consumer spending.
When you look at all these projects and add today’s news, it’s difficult to look at it all and not think Ubisoft may have bitten off more than it could chew.
Hopefully, this is not the case, but it will be interesting to see how each of these initiatives develops and what sort of timeframe we see for each of them.