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Workers At Ubisoft Paris Accuse Company Of Crunch Culture

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Workers at Ubisoft Paris recently accused the company of promoting crunch culture, speaking to the media by way of Solidaires Informatique. According to the union, some ten percent of employees working on the most recent Just Dance reported suffering from a form of burnout. The organization also added that monthly rates of sick leave have been sharply rising.

NME recently investigated the claims and spoke with an employee at the company under condition of anonymity who confirmed the allegations. According to the source in question, there have been widespread issues with pre-production, something which has been described as a “mess.” Workers at Ubisoft Paris were for example asked to change the Just Dance engine just 11 months before launch, while being pressured to incorporate ideas that "had to be considered at all costs," despite the team already being “underwater.” The source called this both "morally and physically exhausting" for workers.

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Several people at the company alleged they were dealing with "late" strategic decisions like Ubisoft Paris delaying to choose an engine until there were only nine months of production left in the process. They also claimed the studio promised not to push paid overtime, but this rule appears to have been rarely upheld, the practice becoming a frequent occurrence, many quality assurance testers working from well before noon until after midnight. “During daily meetings, some employees were explicitly encouraged to work overtime,” a source at the company said. “The message was clear: make overtime.”

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The problems reportedly came from demands made at the corporate level. According to a source who spoke to Solidaires Informatique, the project was constantly coming under scrutiny, Just Dance being slowly turned into “the first Game as a service and big live Game in the Ubisoft portfolio.” The source went on to say that “we showed them a realistic roadmap to realize this and they refused.” When they asked for a delay into early this year, workers on the Game were told that Just Dance “must be under Christmas trees.” The Game was released on November 22, 2022.

When it comes to change at the company in terms of its commitment to creating a better workplace over the long term, one source mentioned that to the best of their knowledge, “every project at Ubisoft Paris is affected by crunch culture.” Ubisoft for the moment has not commented on the accusations made by Solidaires Informatique.

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