Out of all the companies we were expecting to see in trouble for the New Year, Ubisoft wasn’t really at the top of the list. They had just released a number of highly-anticipated games and expansions last year, and had some promising stuff on the horizon.
But then trouble came just a few days into 2023. Skull & Bones, the company’s long-awaited pirating adventure, got delayed again; several yet-to-be-announced projects ended up cancelled; and the company’s financial woes continued. But it apparently goes deeper than that, as Yves Guillemot’s inability to accept blame for what happened is all too easy to notice.

Pointing a Finger At the Employees
After cancelling several projects and reporting a loss of money with the lacking sales of Mario & Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023, Guillemot sent out an email asking employees to do more than their part. “Today more than ever, I need your full energy and commitment to ensure we get back on the path to success,” Guillemot noted, according to Kotaku. “I am also asking that each of you be especially careful and strategic with your spending and initiatives, to ensure we’re being as efficient and lean as possible.”
At first, some might see this as Guillemot’s way to “motivate” employees. But take a closer look. He’s essentially calling them lazy and insisting they haven’t put forth their “full energy and commitment” to projects.
And that hit some employees hard, apparently. A French union group named Solidaires Informatique actually called for them to stage a half-day walkout from the company in an effort to get Guillemot to listen to their woes. “Because Mr. Guillemot and his clique only understand the relationship of power, Solidaires Informatique is calling on the employees of Ubisoft Paris to go on strike on Friday 27 January in the afternoon, from 2 to 6 pm,” the group explained.
Why is this of concern to the employees? Basically because of Guillemot’s statement above, as well as how he will trim operating costs.
“When Mr. Guillemot speaks of ‘attrition’ and ‘organizational adjustments,’ it means: staff reductions, discreet studio closures, salary cuts, disguised layoffs, etc.,” Solidaires Informatique noted.
The group has demanded higher payment for employees, as well as better treatment. Alas, it’s unsure whether the employees will actually do it. This, coupled with the many sexual harassment claims the company has seen over the years, leaves questions about what it can do right. And, better still, if they’ll do it.

So What’s On the Horizon?
Then there’s a question as to what the company will release in 2023. Despite the recent delay for Skull & Bones, it’s still slated for some time this year. And then there’s Assassin’s Creed Mirage, which Ubisoft promises will be a return to form for the franchise after several “big” entries like Odyssey and Valhalla. There’s also the new Avatar game (Frontiers of Pandora) that’s on the way, as well as DLC for Sparks of Hope that features Rayman.
Outside of that, however, very little is known about the company’s plan for this year. A new Splinter Cell? That’s still a pipe dream at this point. Beyond Good & Evil 2? Surprisingly, not cancelled, but also not on the radar yet.
Now, Ubisoft did promise that announcements would come this year (depending on what still remains after cancellations), so there is hope that it can recover. But it also needs to make good with its employees and its fans, and come through on promises that it made. Not to mention making sure Skull & Bones is up to snuff after so many delays. Based on the new narrative below for the game, it doesn’t look bad. But there’s still more to do.

We’re Hopeful, But Work Has To Be Done
There’s still a chance that Ubisoft can turn around its woes for the year and deliver where both employees and gamers need it. But that’s clearly on Yves Guillemot, who should accept responsibility and push his employees the right way, instead of demanding more effort when they’ve already given 110 percent. Otherwise, the company’s troubles could very well continue – and that means bad news ahead for those hopeful for its future projects.

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