Ubisoft Reviews

Updated August 22, 2015
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3.7
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Ubisoft Cofondateur et Président-Directeur Général Yves Guillemot
Yves Guillemot
30 Ratings

Pros
  • The work/life balance is fantastic (in 17 reviews)

  • They provide a good and flexible work environment (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • If you don't speak French, your pay scale is different (in 7 reviews)

  • J'aimerai comprendre les objectifs principaux de la soci (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

51 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Senior Software Developer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Ubisoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Dynamic environment. Lots of opportunities.

    Cons

    Low salaries. Very hard to get a raise. Average annual raise is 1%, where a lot of peoples get 0%. To get noticed you basically have to invent teleportation of anti-gravity...

    Advice to Management

    Come back to reality. You are managing human, not life-less objects.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Just say "No," unless you're brand new to game industry!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Narrative Designer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Senior Narrative Designer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ubisoft full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    * Well, their HR people are very nice and very skilled. They would need to be, given the employee churn at Ubi Montreal. * Devs on the teams I was on were generally friendly and helpful. * "Interprojects" concept is good -- when your project is shut down or (less likely) published, you are put in Interprojects department rather than let go, so you can be interviewed/considered for other projects. This is smarter than the way most companies handle employees who are temporarily without a project. * Free French lessons (a necessity if you want to smooth communications with your teammates).

    Cons

    * Taxes are incredibly high in Montreal. Between Canadian and Quebec taxes, you lose roughly 40%-50% of your salary to taxes. This is not an exaggeration. U.S. developers should ask for at least 40% more than they get in the U.S. so as not to take a step backward in salary! * French is absolutely the predominant language at Ubisoft Montreal (it's even worse at Ubi Quebec). In my 9 months with the company, I estimate that at least 75% of all conversations, maybe more, were in French. Some official meetings were conducted in French. At one formal teleconference with the Editorial Board over in Paris, they asked if the meeting could be conducted in French, even though they knew 6 of the 8 devs on our side of the monitor were primarily English-speaking. * Editorial Board in Paris has a stranglehold on every decision. They don't micromanage on a daily basis, but any decision made by team management can be overturned at any time by Editorial, regardless of cost to project or team. The project I began on had been in development for 2.5 years when Editorial suddenly told us we had to switch from first person to third person, we had to go from a linear game to an open world one, and oh by the way, we hate your protagonist, change him. Each of these was a massive shift that was suddenly dumped on the team. And then 1.5 months later they canceled the project, after these changes were well underway, with lots of crunch involved. Stupid management, amazing any decent products have ever come out of Ubisoft. * They have a lot of hoops to jump through in their production process, lots of "gates"/greenlight hurdles the team has to pause regular production to prepare for. Despite this semblance of accountability, all three projects I had contact with were way over their schedule and wallowing slowly toward completion. I believe only one of the three actually came out. * Without a doubt the most political game development company I've ever worked for (out of seven). Politics affect every decision and hindered every project. Ubisoft Montreal is the epitome of "it's not what you know, it's who you know." That maxim is what Ubi Montreal is all about. * Montreal is a very expensive city to live in, compared to large U.S. cities. Crappy little apartments are expensive and everything above that is too. * Commuting is very bad. The trains are good, the buses are really bad (at hitting their schedules). Don't bring a car if you move there. It would take me 45 minutes to go 4 miles, at 7PM. There can be massive traffic jams at any time of the day, on any major highway in the city, no rhyme or reason to it. * Drivers are awful; Montreal is the only place I have ever heard of that had to rescind right-on-red rules for cars because drivers were such a danger to pedestrians in crosswalks. Apparently pedestrian deaths have gone down but drivers aren't any better. Most drivers in Montreal seem to be in a hurry to reach the site of their next accident. ;)

    Advice to Management

    * Disband the Editorial Board in Paris. Put adults in charge of your projects and let them do their jobs.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Project Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ubisoft full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The usual pros of the games industry. - No suit and ties - Many people who are passionate about making games. - A good amount of great creative minds. - Flexible hours (with core hours) - Company healthcare, dental and retirement plan

    Cons

    - Like many already mentioned, if you do not speak French then expect never to rise beyond a specific level and jump many more hoops than your French speaking colleagues have to as well as your salary might end up in the lower area. This is even more painfully true in the Montreal office. - Your career may be blocked by the fact you do not speak French as well. - Many managers are promoted experts without the training in management or leading other people which turns out to be a dangerous approach in general, not only for Ubisoft. Some of them do know better but don't apply their knowledge, which is even more sad. - It happens too often that you try to dodge red tape and have to avoid stepping into someone's turf to get things done. Decisions often are made at a higher level and your are meant to apply them without a dialogue and prior conversation of sense or non-sense. - At times you are made to get things done without the necessary support or manpower. - Communication in the company has been very bottom to top with a lack of information flow from the top to the bottom while this is slowly changing, sadly too slow and as it seems only as a necessary evil. - Payment in Ubisoft is low not only compared to other industries which seems to be a common issue. Possibly because the games industry similar to the film industry always has enthusiasts willing to work for low payment only to be part of it. But even compared to the games industry Ubisoft seems to push the average bar low. - If you want to evolve and improve most the time you are on your own. While Ubisoft offers (internal) courses it is up to you to find your path. If you want to switch position or grow into another field then be prepared to experience a serious lack of support. There is no clear career path, no career coach, low (sometimes no) support from the HR. The summary: If you don't make it happen, then no one will (even help).

    Advice to Management

    - Don't send your managers to be trained and then forget to make sure that the principles are applied. Knowledge is good, actions are better. - As an international company it would possibly be a good idea to get rid of the French elitism thinking in some parts of the company.Equality is one of the big points most games companies hail to. Equality does not stop at gender, age and religion though. Announcing that the company language is officially English does not remove the wine glass ceiling. - Live by the same rules you expect those below you to live by. If you demand them to follow a specific process then don't be the first who tries to cut the chase. You lose credibility and the trust of your employees.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Don't unless you're starting out

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ubisoft full-time

    Pros

    The people I worked with were fun and talented. Tons of restaurants around Ubisoft Montreal. Great job security. Beer on Fridays.

    Cons

    Tech sharing and management is a disaster. As a programmer, prepare to spend a lot of time integrating and merging features from other projects. The management is completely full of itself and convinced that Ubisoft makes the best games in the industry. There is very little looking into what other companies are doing. Very little innovation, most games apply the same 'game loop' of open up an area, do the quests in that area, go to new area, rinse and repeat. You will be expected to do a LOT of overtime with almost zero compensation. If you work 400 hours of overtime, you're lucky if you get 40 hours in vacation. Someone who leaves Ubisoft for a year and then comes back will almost always have a better position/salary then if they had stayed at Ubisoft.

    Advice to Management

    Go F yourselves.


  6. Helpful (2)

    There

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Level Artist in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Level Artist in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ubisoft full-time

    Pros

    Job Security is very high

    Cons

    Don't expect to move very far if you aren't Francophone.


  7. Generalist programmer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Generalist Programmer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Generalist Programmer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ubisoft full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Really competent people, fun developing video games, easy to develop yourself as these is possibility for training and changing title, or go to another studios.

    Cons

    Game are pretty big with lots of people, you look pretty small within a big company like that. You may end up in a project that doesn't make money, so you don't get any bonuses.

    Advice to Management

    Global bonus would be welcome. Still a good part of the bonus can be for important titles that profits the company a lot.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Artist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ubisoft full-time

    Pros

    The company has few big Game IP titles. It sound very good when you have the chance associate ( work relate ) with those titles.

    Cons

    The set back, it would be hard to get to work on those big name big bonus tile, if you not have any " friend connection" referral.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Decent but not for everyone

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Ubisoft full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Ubisoft is a decent place to work if you are looking for comfort. Big Projects.

    Cons

    Very, Very big teams Pays lips service to ethical issues which manifest themselves in the video game industry Derivative ideas on major projects

    Advice to Management

    Maybe read the "The Mythical Man-Month"


  10. Ubisoft Montreal

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Programmer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Recommends

    Pros

    _ Great games _ nice place _ challenges _ events. _ very good management and RH.

    Cons

    _ sometimes too big. _ gamers sometimes hate too much this entreprise (for bad reasons).


  11. Helpful (5)

    Health Hazard

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ubisoft full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    +High profile projects look good on your resume for other companies

    Cons

    -Had to file an official complaint with de Commission Des Normes du Travail (QC Government body for dealing with workplace harassment). The managers giving harassment had a years-long record of harassment within the company, however, HR did nothing to solve the problem and willingly allowed numerous employees be abused. -Disgusting condition of the building. Had mice nest beside our desks with mice running around on the floor. -Broken toilets and urinals for so long. Once saw a recycle bin under the urinal to catch the urine. -Exposed electrical outlets and bundles of electric wires splayed across the floor in busy foot traffic areas...how is this not a fire hazard? -Forced to fill out forms stating we had X number of training hours provided to us (when in fact we did not). Guessing this is so they can get more money from the government. I'm honestly surprised that we haven't heard of the QC government investigating this company.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the building itself to avoid potential health and safety hazards. Address deeply rooted issues with HR's lack of accountability and inability to take action on bad employees



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