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Another week, another layoff news. This time, it is coming from Ubisoft. The French company announced job cuts in its IT and VFX teams, mainly in Canada. The Assassin’s Creed maker blamed the development on reorganizing headcount in Hybride and its IT staff around the globe. The decision will affect 124 employees—but it is not the company’s first layoff this year.

Ubisoft Is The Latest Studio To Announce Layoffs, 124 Employees Impacted

“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,” Ubisoft said in a statement.

“In this context, today we announced that we are reorganizing our Canadian studios’ general and administrative functions and reducing headcount in Hybride (our VFX studio based in Montreal) and in our global IT team, which impacts 124 positions overall.”

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Hybride played an instrumental role in the development of The Mandalorian, the Disney Plus Star Wars series. At least, 98 of all the staff that will be impacted by the layoff are in Canada. However, Ubisoft has also confirmed that more positions will be cut across its other Canadian offices.

Ubisoft Is The Latest Studio To Announce Layoffs, 124 Employees Impacted

“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 to the government of Quebec as reported by Kotaku.

Back in September, the company announced plans to shutter its Ubisoft London mobile studio which is credited for creating the Hungry Shark series. The decision will impact 54 staff at the studio. Back in May, it laid off 60 employees from its customer service team.

“These are not decisions taken lightly and we are providing comprehensive support for our colleagues who will be leaving Ubisoft during this transition,” the company’s spokesperson said in a statement. “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 announced its restructuring plan back in January

Ubisoft Is The Latest Studio To Announce Layoffs, 124 Employees Impacted

Back in January, Ubisoft said that it wants to cut $215 million in costs over the next two years “through targeted restructuring, divesting some non-core assets and usual natural attrition,” as well as “continue to look at hiring talented people for its biggest brands and live services.”

The decision was believed to be an attempt to make up for failed big-budget games like Skull and Bones and Beyond Good and Evil 2 which are now stuck in a development loop for years. Ubisoft Montreal is the company’s largest in-house development studio as well as one of the largest in the world.

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As of 2021, the studio had about 4,000 employees. Talking about credits, the studio is behind the company’s biggest IPs like Rainbow Six Siege and Far Cry. Prior to now, large-scale layoffs were unheard of at Ubisoft Montreal, considering its strategic importance to the French publisher’s network of studios.

“With the continued tight control on recruitments as well as targeted restructurings, the total number of employees worldwide stood at 19,410 at the end of September 2023, compared to 20, 729 at the end of September 2022,” the publisher said in an October update.

Ubisoft Is The Latest Studio To Announce Layoffs, 124 Employees Impacted

Back in September, IGN reported signs of trouble in the studio stemming from “broken promises” to developers in its hybrid return-to-office policy. Some Montreal employees believed the end of the full remote work was a “soft layoff” that would shield the company from paying severance or making headlines while achieving its goal of cutting headcount.

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“Who knows if there will be more cuts down the line?” one employee who was shocked by the latest layoff told Kotaku. “It’s nerve-wracking not to know if your job will be secure or not”.

“All affected Canadian employees will be supported through this change, including severance packages, extended benefits where applicable, and career assistance to help them navigate their transition,” Ubisoft said in a statement.

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