Skip to main content

40 developers staged a strike at Ubisoft Paris

“This strike has helped build the next strikes to come.”

Last Friday afternoon, 40 developers from Ubisoft Paris gathered to strike in the first labour stoppage of Ubisoft’s history. It's the capper on what has been a turbulent month for the company. Three weeks ago Ubisoft announced they were cancelling three unannounced games amid “worsening macroeconomic conditions.” In a letter to employees, CEO Yves Guillemot said that “the ball is in your court” in regard to hitting deadlines and overturning Ubisoft’s sticky financial situation. French union Solidaires Informatique said that Guillemot’s "words mean something: overtime, managerial pressure, burnout, etc," and called on Ubisoft Paris employees to strike for better pay and working hours. It seems some devs heard the call.

Watch on YouTube

The Ubisoft Paris strike lasted the rest of the working day, and the turnout constituted around 15% of Ubisoft Paris’ development team. Axios reports that the strike was more of a discussion between employees at this stage, rather than a protest. The main points of discussion centred on the state of the company, future plans of action, and a culture of crunch due to intense dev cycles for series like Ghost Recon and Just Dance.

This comes despite Guillemot reportedly apologising for his comments in a recent Q&A meeting with an “I’m sorry this was perceived that way” message. This apology apparently wasn't enough, as an anonymous attendee told Axios that “this strike has helped build the next strikes to come,” and that “If Ubisoft management doesn't want to hear from us, they might understand that it's the workers who decide when games are released."

Despite a number of cancellations, Ubisoft still have a handful of releases in the pipeline. Assassins Creed Mirage is due sometime this year and is set to be a slimmer, stealth-focused, return to form for the series. Skull & Bones may or may not set sail this year, as it was delayed for the sixth time into Ubisoft’s next fiscal year, starting this July.

Read this next