Warning strike at Ubisoft: Employees are directed against CEO Yves Guillemot

Ubisoft is struggling with many problems. In order to turn the boat around, CEO Yves Guillemot recently made employees accountable. It will be up to them, the French publisher and game developer with all their might.”Energy and dedicationBack to success. However, they see things differently – and they want to strike.

CEO Guillemot wants to blame the staff

in an email my city Available, Guillemot asked the staff.More careful and strategic with spendingand proposed austerity measures. The employees in Paris see him as a threat: they know exactly what this means layoffs, salary cuts and unpaid overtime, as if from no one. Union statement IT Solidarity He appears. Although the ball is already in their hands, the staff agrees with Guillemot’s words that “But the money stays in his pocket“.

If asking employees to “be especially careful and strategic with your spending” sounds ironic given the company’s editorial strategy of the past few years, it’s not funny. When Mr. Guillemot talks about “attrition” and “organizational adjustments”, he means: staff reductions, invisible studio closures, salary cuts, disguised layoffs, and so on.

On several occasions, Mr. Guillemot tries to shift the blame (again) onto the staff; He expects us to move, to “give our all”, to be “as efficient and agile as possible”. These words mean something: overtime, managerial pressure, burnout, and so on.

Solidarity Gewerkschaft Computing Video Game

The statement also addresses the current situation of Ubisoft employees in Paris. For example, there is currently rampant inflation, which has caused a marked decline in real wage levels in recent months. And so they answer Guillemot’s calls for serious action with their own demands. Specifically, the Solidaires Informatique union is calling for a comprehensive, immediate and unscheduled wage increase of 10 percent, which will be financed, among other things, by the capital contributed by Tencent.

General working conditions should also be improved, particularly through the introduction of a four-day week. Ubisoft Already tried in 2021 with a week of 36 hours, but they didn’t keep it. In addition, the union is calling for more transparency and better protections against dismissal.

Mr. Guillemot demands a lot from his employees, but without any compensation.

  • Did salaries keep pace with high inflation in recent years?
  • How about doing 4 days a week?
  • What is put in place for teams that have come off exhausted productions (like those of Just Dance or Mario)?

We demand:

  • Instant 10% increase for all salaries regardless of annual increases to offset inflation. With hundreds of millions of euros acquired from Tencent, there is money in the coffers of employers.
  • Improving working conditions, especially the implementation of 4 days a week.
  • Transparency in the development of the workforce locally and globally.
  • Strong commitment against disguised dismissal and condemnation of arbitrary management policies that lead employees to resign.

Solidarity Gewerkschaft Computing Video Game

Regardless, the union is calling all Paris Ubisoft employees on the afternoon of January 27 for a warning strike. How far should other strikes follow if Ubisoft or CEO Yves Guillemot should not follow through on adequately formulated demands; The opinion does not address this.

Ubisoft has had a tough year

Ubisoft has had a tough year. In the summer of 2022, the publisher just released Roller Champions, though Ubisoft denied rumors of an imminent hiatus at the end of July, but had to admit further delays in new content. Since the pirate game Skull and Bones, already delayed for years and planned for November, was delayed again last week and will not be released on March 9, 2023 as planned after the penultimate delay, Mario + Rabbids, produced with Nintendo, submitted: Sparks of Hope, released exclusively for Switch on October 20th, is Ubisoft’s only major release in the past six months.

The open-world action-adventure film Frontiers of Pandora, previously scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022, has been delayed by up to a year and a half, while seven projects have been canceled before it was officially released. In the fall, online services for several older Ubisoft games were also discontinued. The remake of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has no release date after some delay. However, Ubisoft shot the bird with Beyond Good & Evil 2: the action-adventure has been haunting the video game world for 15 years now, without currently having a release date. And for about a decade, the publisher has been emphasizing at irregular intervals: development is in progress; Two days ago On the other side Eurogamer. A timeline for failure Regulations PCGamer in.

The real-time development strategy game Die Sieder: Neue Allianzen, which has been on an epic journey for years, will finally launch again on February 17, 2023.

Ubisoft stock has lost 80 percent of its value

As early as the end of 2021 it became known that Ubisoft was grappling with a massive loss of staff, which was rooted in a series of internal harassment scandals, lack of handling and crude crisis management. Since sales figures have also been below expectations recently, the Downward revision of financial projections: Revised net booking target for Q3 2022-23, which corresponds to Ubisoft’s fourth quarter of calendar year 2022, is now €725m, up from €830m previously. Plans to use NFTs as a way to expand video game monetization met with little support from gamers; There was no success. The same is true of free-to-play and free-to-play concepts such as the Battle Royale shooter Hyper Scape, which has been discontinued after 18 months.

All this leaves its mark: in the summer of 2018, Ubisoft’s share peaked at a unit price of around 100 euros, and since then it has been declining. The security is currently available for around 20 euros. Even a financial injection of 300 million euros from Chinese investor Tencent could not change that. Tencent now owns more than 11 percent of Ubisoft SA.

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