Dozens of key developers who worked on Ubisoft’s main AAA franchises have left the company over the last year and a half. Employees cite low pay and the misconduct scandal among reasons for their departure, calling this mass attrition “the great exodus.”

Far Cry 6

Stephen Totilo from Axios reported the issue, speaking with a dozen of current and former Ubisoft employees.

Key takeaways from the article

  • Five of the top 25-credited Far Cry 6 devs have already left the company, as well as at least twelve of the top 50 employees who worked on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
  • According to LinkedIn, 60 people left Ubisoft offices in Montreal and Toronto. It has slowed down the development process at the company.
  • Developers have different reasons to flee from Ubisoft, including low pay and the way the management has been handling the misconduct scandal. Some people are also leaving due to frustration at the current creative direction.
  • Totilo noted that Ubisoft became a kind of “supermarket” for video games talent in Montreal, with big companies like Tencent and Epic Games hiring Ubisoft’s workers and the publisher’s former employees making their own start-ups.
  • One programmer said that he managed to triple their pay by leaving the company. Ubisoft employees are now “easy targets” for recruiters, considering all the scandals around the company.

Ubisoft’s response

  • According to Ubisoft head of people ops Anika Grant, the current attrition rate at the company is only a few percentage points above average numbers.
  • The company has already hired 2600 people since April, trying to balance the staff exodus.
  • According to LinkedIn, the attrition rate at Ubisoft is now 12%, which is lower than at Activision Blizzard (16%) but much higher than at other big companies like EA (9%) and Epic Games (7%).
  • Grant also noted the latest pay raise across Ubisoft’s Canadian studios has improved retention by 50%. However, this decision was criticized by employees from other countries, who also wanted their salaries to improve.
  • Ubisoft noted that the share of employees that are happy at the company and would recommend it as a great workplace has returned to the industry standards.
  • However, staffing problems at Ubisoft seem obvious. Last week, the company suddenly announced a Splinter Cell remake, which is not something it usually does, given that the project is still at the early stages of development. Ubisoft has also opened dozens of job listings for senior staff.