Paris-headquartered publisher looks to counterbalance growth

Ubisoft to cap global dev headcount

Global publishing empire Ubisoft will see staff count reductions at some of its studios following news that the firm has lowered annual sales targets.

Company CEO Yves Guillemot admitted that there will be a diminished workforce at some Ubisoft studios as the business juggles expanding its other facilities with keeping its staff count flat.

“We are going to stabilise our account, so the goal is not to increase too much the number of people that [work for us],” he said. “There will be some countries that will increase [staff] and some that will decrease, in fact.”

In July last year, Ubisoft announced it was building a new Toronto studio, claiming it will create 800 new jobs within the province over the next 10 years. The firm has already invested over $473 million in the move.

The announcement of the new Toronto studio followed the firm’s announcement that it would slow down the hiring of new staff – as the company had brought on some 1,300 new workers in 2008.

Production savings have already been cited as a reason why Ubisoft has poured so much investment into its Toronto studio – Canada has a world-leading production tax break scheme.

The company did not state, however, where it will diminish staff to balance its current global numbers. Nor did Guillemot say that the reduced workforce would come via involuntary redundancies, but instead though not renewing some worker’s contracts.

As Guillemot put it, the reductions will come via a “natural evolution of the market, because you have people coming and leaving.”

On Wednesday Ubisoft revised its earnings projections for the year – citing a slowdown in the DS market, slow back catalogue sales and a move towards triple-A titles. The firm’s annual sales targets have been cut from €1,040 million to €860 million.

Ubisoft recently announced that it was going to work on over 15 Natal and Wand projects.

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