Ubisoft, the game publisher behind franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, is laying off 124 employees at its visual effects studio, and on its global IT team. Of the 124 affected workers, Ubisoft spokesperson Antoine Leduc-Labelle said 98 people are based in Canada, making up less than 2 percent of the company’s workforce in the country. (Ubisoft has studios in Montreal, Quebec City, Chicoutimi, Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Sherbrooke.) Leduc-Labelle added that this doesn’t affect Ubisoft’s production teams.
“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,” Leduc-Labelle said in an emailed statement. “These are not decisions taken lightly.” Affected staff members in Canada will get severance packages, extended benefits, and career assistance.
In September, it was reported that Ubisoft’s over 4,000 employees were forced to return to the company’s offices in Montreal. However, many workers were frustrated with the change, as Ubisoft reportedly promised staff members they could work from home for the foreseeable future.
This year has been especially tough for the gaming industry. Ubisoft laid off dozens of employees at its North Carolina and UK-based offices in May, while other companies, such as Epic Games, Bungie, Naughty Dog, BioWare, and CD Projekt Red, issued job cuts of their own.