Ubisoft Paris
Image: Ubisoft Paris

A recent investigation by NME has found reports of crunch culture and poor working conditions in game development at Ubisoft Paris following a similar allegation by the French trade union Solidaires Informatique last week alleging high rates of sick leave and developer 'burn out'.

The report includes direct quotes from several developers on Just Dance 2023 and claims that Ubisoft Paris workers encountered a "mess" during the game's production, with multiple unrealistic demands being set by studio bosses.

Issues cited include claims of the studio not having settled on the game's production engine despite a tight deadline and just nine months of production time left, and the need to implement "impossible" creative decisions "that had to be considered at all costs".

According to NME's sources, these work standards allegedly produced an environment of crunch culture where overtime shifts became commonplace, with some employees being "explicitly encouraged to work overtime" by "intimidating" figures. Workers on Just Dance 2023 were the focus of the investigation, though one of the anonymous interviewees suggested that “every project at Ubi Paris [is] affected by crunch culture”.

The appointment of managing director Marie-Sophie de Waubert is cited by the same employee as a positive, however, highlighting a "real cohesion" within the Paris team itself.

This is the latest in a series of stories regarding the troubled publisher, with reports of the company's employee ranks being depleted in recent years due to alleged misconduct and wider management issues, PR blunders and apologies from CEO Yves Guillemot, and share price tumbles following dire sales reports.

You can read NME's full report here.

[source nme.com]