Skull and Bones crossplay
Image via Ubisoft

Almost 700 Ubisoft workers strike in France over salary negotiations

Another tumultuous year for the gaming industry.

Salary negotiations between Ubisoft workers and the gaming giant have gone sour, leading to a strike day organized by the French game workers union STJV (Syndicat des Travailleurs et Travailleuses du Jeu Vidéo).

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The mass strike took place on Valentine’s Day, February 14, and involved almost 700 employees from several of Ubisoft’s divisions, including the Paris, Montpellier, Annecy, Lyon, and Bordeaux studios. The conflict lies primarily with the alleged imbalance between management profits and the below inflation increases in employee salaries for the second consecutive year. According to STJV, Ubisoft continues to enjoy making a profit despite deficits in management, and workers are being exploited to increase profits.

Though the strike was a large one that sent a message, it is worth keeping in mind just how massive Ubisoft is. The publishing giant has around 21,000 employees around the world, and it is privileged to be the biggest gaming studio in France with 1,000 employees. We have yet to see what impact the strike will have on the megacorporation, and whether the outcome of salary negotiations will change.

It has been a tough time for the gaming industry, which has seen layoffs numbering in the thousands. Ubisoft is not exempt in this regard, as it waved goodbye to 124 employees in 2023 to “optimize its resources to be more sustainable in the long term.” In the same year, there were up to 60 layoffs from the company in the North Carolina and Newcastle locations, with some former employees stating that they weren’t given prior notice.

The strike comes as Skull and Bones finally hit store shelves after a seemingly endless conga line of delays. Developed by Ubisoft Singapore, the game has launched to lukewarm reviews, though there have been several players enjoying sailing the seas. Our own Steven Mills describes it as an “arcadey and somewhat grindy action game where you continue the loop of plundering ships for materials, Silver, and Infamy to level up, unlock a new ship, farm the materials to build that new ship, rinse and repeat.” For some, it’ll be a blast while others will find it to be nothing but tediousness.


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Author
Smangaliso Simelane
Staff Writer - Smangaliso Simelane is a writer with a passion for all things related to video games. He has been writing about video games since 2020.