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Lionel Laurent

Stop the Schadenfreude Over Bloated Tech Layoffs

Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft offered pep talks on work ethic. That pushed all the wrong buttons.

The Ubisoft studio in in Annecy, France.

The Ubisoft studio in in Annecy, France.


Video games are increasingly enmeshed in the business cycle of Big Tech. After the pandemic boom, profit warnings are piling up, from Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft Entertainment SA to Frontier Developments Plc, and industry layoffs are mounting.

Yet unlike the expressions of shock and schadenfreude seen online as Alphabet Inc. workers experience their first layoffs – complete with the stereotyped imagery of entitled Gen-Zers losing access to the corporate tiki bar – what’s happening in gaming exposes a far more dystopian vision of the virtual workplace. A threatened strike this week at Ubisoft in France gives a glimpse of battles to come.