Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

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Jaspergentry
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Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Jaspergentry » Sep 21 2016, 17:45

This Article is a little old, however really expresses the anger within the company which is also very much expressed outside the company.

https://www.reddit.com/r/assassinscreed ... _employee/


By "[Deleted]" on Reddit, i would check out the link, but just in case you cant be bothered here it is (Creds for User)

"(note i didn't work on unity)
I really have to say this:
We were struggling under normal load, AAA games are HARD to develop. And then instead of 4-odd years between releases, where we worked 50-70 hour weeks, (anything above 37 is unpaid), you decided we should release every year
and not actually possible, unless you hire guys for 40k(GBP) for example, but make them work 55 hour weeks, I've seen guys work for below minimum wage if you take overtime into account (and they're producers) , I've seen guys shamed for leaving at 5pm (when i say 'guys' i mean 1 guy, now how i wish i was him as he boldly walked out in his laserproof armour everyday defending him from the death stares from people who would be staying til 11), I've seen guys shamefacedly take 2 days paternity leave (in the uk!) and spend months between the times where they'd see their babies with their eyes actually open
I was in a meeting personally with yves guillemot, who said that he doesn't care about PC gamers because, and i quote "90% are pirates anyway", that's after a direct question from a well respected, well paid programmer back in the late 2000s asking "why are our pc ports **** ****?", so we outsourced it all to eastern europe, they've never even seen it on a console, so pc master race guys, that's why.
We had to beg to have our deadline extended or we WOULD release a horrible broken mess. but this is normal, either it all works or nothing, any programmer can tell you that.
Anyway, our game was released slightly delayed by half a year or so (2 quarters!) and won lots of awards, but we had a lot of convincing to do for ubisoft to allow us to to miss that fiscal deadline, because all games are are products subject to an excel spreadsheet. To miss our deadline we had to lose a few random workers (19 i think? because 20 or something specific comes under mass redundancy which comes under different laws in the uk),. yes we can release a **** buggy game, or a good one a few months later, but we have to figure out which is better for our fiscal forecasts becaus each game from conception already has a release date and expected revenue for that fiscal period
my beloved unity QA guys! i know, shush, you know every bug appearing online like the back of your hand and you have to read comments like "didn't anyone in QA pick this up?" even though you've been looking for a new job for months because it's so BAD
Well to all commenters out there: it's out, cos QA get sacked at the end of a project anyway, but that's normal.
I went from a dev ops to QA in non games and it's literally half the work for twice the pay
I still own a C64, CPC464 and 3 flavours of spectrum among my old consoles, I will never even look at a games job again. i hate ubisoft for ruining my dream, but i don't blame the devs, montreal are hurting more than us fans.
(if you want to correct my grammar etc: i'm drunk and asleep by the time you read this but feel free to talk to a database)
PS: yves guillemot sue me if you want i don't care. you're a ****."
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Kalah » Sep 22 2016, 11:08

Well apart for the bad language, now I understand why so few game companies work in Norway: we actually have a law forbidding unpaid overtime ...
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby ywhtptgtfo » Sep 27 2016, 4:40

Don't forget Scandinavia has a sparse population and smaller talent pool.

On overtime, I wonder if 55-70 hr/weeks are truly necessary. The rumours I heard about Ubisoft is that it absolutely sucked at product management and has a great deal of trouble communicating requirements to devs.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Kalah » Sep 27 2016, 6:24

On the other hand, I doubt this will change anything. People already have the image of Ubisoft as the "big corporate" producer, so some random dev ranting on the web isn't going to change much.
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Pol » Sep 27 2016, 7:17

Because I'm older I would be between these people leaving on time. Always. Life lesson.

This is horrible story, I wouldn't work in such conditions. :(
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby cjlee » Sep 27 2016, 16:36

Reading this makes me decide to stop making fun of Limbic. It's not fair to them. The real culprit is Ubisoft.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Bandobras Took » Sep 27 2016, 18:33

cjlee wrote:Reading this makes me decide to stop making fun of Limbic. It's not fair to them. The real culprit is Ubisoft.


Just to expand --

That's the case for pretty much every product. The people involved in actually *making* it tend to be decent. It's the people in charge of profiting off of forcing other people to sell something they haven't made and don't understand that are the problem. ;)
Far too many people speak their minds without first verifying the quality of their source material.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby ywhtptgtfo » Sep 28 2016, 0:58

Kalah wrote:On the other hand, I doubt this will change anything. People already have the image of Ubisoft as the "big corporate" producer, so some random dev ranting on the web isn't going to change much.


Ubisoft is not a company that learns much actually. Even with the train-wreck known as H6, it still decided to make another disastrous H7 release.

Bandobras Took wrote:
cjlee wrote:Reading this makes me decide to stop making fun of Limbic. It's not fair to them. The real culprit is Ubisoft.


Just to expand --

That's the case for pretty much every product. The people involved in actually *making* it tend to be decent. It's the people in charge of profiting off of forcing other people to sell something they haven't made and don't understand that are the problem. ;)

Product managers are not necessarily the people with the monetary stakes. In many companies, they qualify as middle management.

Contrary to what some may think, they are the heart of the project and have much greater impact than any single developer. There's a world of difference between a project managed by a competent PM and an incompetent one.

Unfortunately though, good PM's are hard to come by. It's easy to get the career qualifications to become one but it's hard to acquire the skills necessary to excel. More often than not, the PM's I work with are bad with the latest one in my team being particularly awful.

On developers, there are plenty of bad coders out there. Don't naturally assume Nival/BlackHole/Limbic developers are great just because the odd employee came out and pushed blame around.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Banedon » Sep 28 2016, 10:56

Honestly this is hardly exceptional, and something I'd hazard happens an awful lot in many companies worldwide, in all industries.

Basic recipe is, shareholders (or top management in private companies) care about the total amount of money they make, and not so much about how that money is made. Delays of products then becomes a dangerous thing, since it may show up as a net revenue loss for that financial year. Shareholders don't care nearly as much why that revenue loss is due to a bug that took a week to fix, or how the death of a key employee resulted in a week-long delay; they care only that there is a revenue loss. This effect trickles down to the rank-and-file employees until everyone is focusing only on the key performance indicators at the expense of all else. It's like a prostitution of the original work. Plus, employees working 50+ hours a week for the pay of 37 hours is actually good for shareholders.

Don't suppose there's anything that can be done about it though; it's a fact of life.
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Angelspit » Sep 28 2016, 15:56

^^ This...

Great explanation Banedon. A bit depressing, but very accurate.
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Kalah » Sep 28 2016, 17:54

Yeah, it's probably an accurate analysis and I'm not sure Ubisoft are any better or worse than other major game producers. I suppose moving the franchise to a smaller producer who are more in touch with their employees could be a good thing, but with smaller producers come smaller budgets.
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby mctronic » Sep 28 2016, 23:22

I agree as well... Look at Diablo 3 from Blizzard. Lots of bugs when it came out. Diablo 2 was delayed twice for a proper finish. Now it's all about shareholders... I believe one day gamers will vote with their wallets. I have done just that with Heroes 7.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby ywhtptgtfo » Sep 29 2016, 0:44

Kalah wrote:Yeah, it's probably an accurate analysis and I'm not sure Ubisoft are any better or worse than other major game producers. I suppose moving the franchise to a smaller producer who are more in touch with their employees could be a good thing, but with smaller producers come smaller budgets.


Smaller company comes with the added advantage of less bureaucracy and less career managers.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby cjlee » Sep 29 2016, 8:14

Kalah wrote: with smaller producers come smaller budgets.


With Ubisoft, you get small budgets anyway.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Kalah » Sep 29 2016, 15:18

Depends on the game.
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Panda Tar » Sep 30 2016, 20:23

With Ubisoft, you get screwed ups anyway, no matter the budget. :(
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Banedon » Oct 1 2016, 13:31

mctronic wrote:I agree as well... Look at Diablo 3 from Blizzard. Lots of bugs when it came out. Diablo 2 was delayed twice for a proper finish. Now it's all about shareholders... I believe one day gamers will vote with their wallets. I have done just that with Heroes 7.


You may be looking at things through rose-tinted lenses. Diablo 2 was released with 640 x 480 resolution to all sorts of complaints. I haven't bought H7 either and doubt I ever will. The advent of the internet makes it easy to find games receiving good reviews, which is how I decide which games to buy these days.
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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Galaad » Oct 26 2016, 1:39

Kalah wrote:Depends on the game.

Well h6 had budget.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby ShadowLiberal » Nov 11 2016, 13:53

ywhtptgtfo wrote:On overtime, I wonder if 55-70 hr/weeks are truly necessary. The rumours I heard about Ubisoft is that it absolutely sucked at product management and has a great deal of trouble communicating requirements to devs.

From what I've read, studies have shown that much overtime often backfires, because the more overtime you work the less efficient you are. That's especially true for a job like programming where it's possible to work for many hours and get nothing done if you aren't thinking straight. I've seen one study that even showed there's zero net gain from going from working 55 hours a week to 70 hours a week, except a more stressed out employee.

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Re: Ex-Ubisoft Employee Exposes Ubisoft

Postby Jaspergentry » Jan 4 2017, 16:18

"You decided that we should release each year"... Hmmm.
Sounds a bit like 3DO with the MM6,7 and 8 series.

Companies like Ubisift should learn... Disappointing.
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