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French authorities are currently looking into Ubisoft's Montpellier studio for an alleged high rate of employees facing burnout and taking sick leave throughout 2022.
February 27, 2023
2 Min Read
Ubisoft's Montpellier studio recently informed staff that its managing director, Guillaume Carmona, left the studio. According to a new report from Kotaku, he left as the developer is in the middle of a labor investigation by local authorities.
It's said that "dozens" of developers at the studio went on sick leave in 2022 after facing burnout. The report further alleges that many of those staffers were team leads, and though several employees returned to work, others left the studio entirely.
A French labor inspection office reportedly visited Ubisoft Montpellier in December 2022, and a third party is now involved in the matter.
Carmona was said to be absent since the start of 2023, though due to legal confidentiality, no other details were given as to why. He began working in Ubisoft's marketing department in the 90s, and in 2019 took over managing duties for the studio behind the Rayman franchise and the original Beyond Good & Evil.
Speaking to Kotaku, a Ubisoft representative said that its Montpellier studio is "undergoing well-being assessments through a third-party for preventative measures and to evaluate where additional support may be needed. [...] The health and wellness of our teams is an ongoing priority."
Beyond Good & Evil 2 may speak to Ubisoft's larger issues
Ubisoft Montpellier is currently at work on Beyond Good & Evil 2, which has been in development for several years and seen several creative changes. Michel Ancel, the original director for both games in the series, left the Montpellier studio in 2020 after allegedly fostering a toxic environment.
Per Kotaku, heading up Beyond Good & Evil 2's development (at time of writing) are Charles Gaudron as director and Emile Morel as creative director.
This past January, 40 workers from Ubisoft Paris went on strike following comments made by CEO Yves Guillemot. Like the Montpellier studio, the striking Paris workers alleged suffering burnout while working on its games.
Prior to that strike, employees across all of Ubisoft made clear to Guillemot that the company needs to change both the games it makes and how those games are made.
About the Author(s)
Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com
A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.
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