Following CEO Yves Guillemot’s poorly received “the ball is in your court” remark, we told you yesterday that a strike at Ubisoft Paris might be on the horizon. Since then, Guillemot has apologized, leading a company-wide Q&A session and said, “I heard your feedback, and I’m sorry this was perceived that way.”
The question that Guillemont addressed was, according to Kotaku, “the ball is now in our court—for years it has been in your court, so why did you mishandle the ball so badly that we, the workers, have to fix it for you.” Another question was, “Why did you mishandle the ball so badly that we, the workers, have to fix it for you.”
In response, Guillemont said, “When saying ‘the ball is in your court,’ I meant to communicate the idea that more than ever, I need your talent and enthusiasm to make it happen. Deliver our lineup on time and at the required level of quality.”
Anika Grant, chief people officer of Ubisoft, rejected the 10% pay raise and prospective 4-day workweek recommended by the French labor organization Solidaires Informatique, claiming that they would not be feasible given the company’s present financial circumstances. There was no specific mention of the planned walkout, which is scheduled for January 27.
In recent years, Ubisoft has encountered various difficulties. Skull and Bones, the long-suffering pirate video game, and three unnamed projects were both canceled last week, it was revealed. All is not well in the house of Altair, as evidenced by rumors of project delays and other games that seem to be stuck in production limbo.
How do you feel about Guillemot’s remarks?