Like most companies, Ubisoft has been operating with a fully remote workforce to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company’s re-opening plan has now been leaked and suggests that most employees will need to return to working in the office at least part of each week.
As reported by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Ubisoft sent an email around to its employees this week detailing when and how employees will return to the office. The company will implement a “hybrid and tailored approach” to work, which seemingly means that at least some work from the office will be expected. Ubisoft will only allow a few employees to continue on in a fully remote capacity.
Ubisoft emailed staff today saying that it plans to take “hybrid and tailored approach” to working and that “the office will remain a core pillar of the Ubisoft experience.” Only a “small number” of people will be able to work completely remotely moving forward.
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) June 7, 2021
Although the reasoning for this requirement has not been confirmed, there are a number of possible explanations. Schreier suggests that a significant incentive for moving back to an office-centric work model is that Ubisoft has a tax deal with the city of Montreal for locating one of its big offices there. This deal may have a stipulation that employees have to actually be located in the city.
However, another possible motivation for requiring on-site work is that the pandemic and the move to remote work has had a significant negative impact on game development, especially at the AAA level. Although many independent and smaller studios already had experience creating games with geographically dispersed teams, AAA studios were used to centralized workforces. Ubisoft had to delay a few releases, likely in part due to the effects of the change.
Meanwhile, Ubisoft is gearing up for what looks to be a big E3 week. Its Ubisoft Forward event will have news about several of its upcoming titles including Rainbow Six Extraction and Riders Republic. Here’s how to watch Ubisoft Forward this weekend, and be sure to check out our roundup of all the E3 2021 livestreams that are currently scheduled.
Check it out