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Assassin’s Creed Publisher Continues To Downsize, Lays Off More Staff

In a year full of video game layoffs, Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft Montreal is the latest to get hit by ongoing cuts. The publisher confimred to Kotaku that it will layoff 98 people across its Canadian offices today as part of a “reorganization” of its general and administrative teams, Ubisoft IT, and Ubisoft’s SFX studio Hybride which was involved in the development of the Disney Plus Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

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“Ubisoft is proceeding with a collective dismissal in its Montreal establishment within the framework of a reorganization of its production support services across Canada, by consolidating these functions Canada wide, Ubisoft will be able to optimize its resources to be more sustainable in the long term,” the company wrote in a notice to the government of Quebec shared with Kotaku. Ubisoft added that some additional positions will be eliminated throughout the rest of its Canadian offices as well. 124 positions will be eliminated in total across the company.

“These are not decisions taken lightly and we are providing comprehensive support for our colleagues who will be leaving Ubisoft during this transition,” a spokesperson wrote in a statement to Kotaku. “We also want to share our utmost gratitude and respect for their many contributions to the company. This restructuring does not affect our production teams.”

Ubisoft Montreal is the publisher’s largest in-house development team and one of the largest game studios in the world, with roughly 4,000 employees as of 2021. The studio behind the company’s biggest franchises and hits like Far Cry and Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft Montreal remains the crown jewel in the French publisher’s sprawling network of studios scattered across the world. Large scale layoffs there are practically unheard of.

IGN reported the studio was in turmoil back in September amid “broken promises” to developers concerning its hybrid return-to-office policy. As Ubisoft has undergone repeated layoffs and cuts this year following big delays and many canceled games, some Montreal employees likened the end of full remote work as a “soft layoff” that would help the company cut headcount without making headlines or needing to pay severance.

Ubisoft had 20,729 employees across the globe in September 2022. Last month, it announced that number had been slashed by over 1,000 to 19,410. The publisher has said it’s trying to cut costs by $215 million over two years to make up for failed projects and big budget games like Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Skull and Bones that have been trapped in development hell for years. One current employee told Kotaku today’s layoffs still caught them by surprise. “Who knows if there will be more cuts down the line?” they said. “It’s nerve-wracking not to know if your job will be secure or not.”

Update 11/7/2023 11:14 a.m. ET: Ubisoft’s statement on the cuts has been incorproated above and shared in full below:

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