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Job inspections, resignations… Ubisoft Montpellier and its flagship game are in turmoil

In difficulty since beginning development of the flagship video game, Beyond Good and Evil 2, the Castelnau-le-Lez-based company has suffered resignations from the series, including the project director. Employees and developers deplore the poor working conditions.

This is news that Ubisoft Montpellier would have preferred to avoid. While the company’s star game, Beyond Good & Evil 2 (BG&E2), whose first version was a worldwide success, just broke the woeful record for the longest twist in video game history, it’s now the Labor Inspectorate, still sticking its nose in the group’s affairs. . Announced in a simple email, the general manager of the project disappears. As it is volatile.

The series begins

In position since 2019 Guillaume Carmona, General Manager of BG&E2 Project, has left his position at Ubisoft. She has been absent since the beginning of the year without any specific reason, so Ubisoft announces to her employees that the project director will not be returning. A few days later, it was the turn of creative director Jean-Marc Geffroy to be fired. A situation that’s unlikely to get better because, according to the staff, the game’s executive producer, Guillaume Brunier, is about to throw up his arms.

In development since 2008, Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been beset by significant delays, marked by a hiatus of several months, the departure of its historical director Michel Ancel in 2020, and the absence of several staff members following burnout. When asked, management cannot give a release date but seems concerned about the turn of events. “Because of the long development cycle of Beyond Good and Evil 2, the development team in Montpellier is participating in a welfare study being conducted by an external agency.”she explained.

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Bad working conditions?

Ubisoft has already been installed in 2020, during the MeToo movement, due to the inappropriate behavior of several company executives, once again in the sights of the authorities. According to video game website Kotaku, a series of burnouts and working conditions in complete decline would be called into question. So the Labor Inspectorate conducted an investigation last December at “Unprecedented number of developers experiencing burnout and sick leave,” According to Kotaku.

For its part, the company defends itself and announces that “The health and well-being of our teams is a consistent priority”Before adding that the investigation was A precautionary measure to assess the potential need for additional support.. This past January, employees went on strike to demand less strict management…a great precedent in the group’s history.