Less than a month after joining the work on the Sands of Time remake, Ubisoft Toronto is laying off 33 employees “to ensure it implements its ambitious action plan”


The scourge of layoffs that has plagued the video game industry since early 2023 continues as Ubisoft confirmed that 33 employees at its Toronto studio have been laid off.

“Ubisoft Toronto has decided to conduct a targeted reorganization to ensure it can execute on its ambitious roadmap,” a company representative said in a statement provided to PC Gamer. “Unfortunately, this will impact the roles of 33 team members who will be leaving Ubisoft. We are committed to providing them with comprehensive support, including severance pay and career assistance, to help them through this transformation.”

The pursuit of “growth” or future ambitions is an unfortunate oxymoron that has also become a common justification for putting people out of work. Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive described it as “rationalizing its pipeline” in April, while Xbox boss Phil Spencer blamed the industry’s “lack of growth” for the decimation of its workforce in March.

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In May, Square Enix announced its intention to “aggressively pursue” multiplatform game development with a primary focus on the personal computer market, a strategy that also required layoffs; the following month, Embracer Group unveiled a “human-centric” AI policy that it said would “empower” its employees, just three days after the complete closure of its Alone in the Dark Pieces Interactive studio.

Of course, none of these cuts are about people or games, it’s about getting the numbers on the site to grow rapid enough to keep investors joyful. These numbers grew very quickly during the early years of the Covid-19 pandemic when we were all stuck at home and playing more games than ever.

But now that those constraints are a thing of the past, rapid expansion has slowed, and executives who rushed into an overheated market as if it were going to last forever (and let’s be clear, who should know better, that’s literally their job) are now facing the consequences—for which, of course, other people will have to pay.

The layoffs at Ubisoft Toronto seem particularly surprising in featherlight of the fact that the studio was recently tapped to work on the struggling Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake, which it’s working on alongside the seemingly equally struggling Splinter Cell remake. Given that, you’d think Ubisoft Toronto would need more people, not fewer, but Ubisoft has stated that the layoffs won’t impact any ongoing work: “Our plan remains unchanged, with our teams working on the Splinter Cell remake and other projects across the studio.”

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