Child of Light director Patrick Plourde is the latest senior developer to announce that they are leaving Ubisoft after nearly 20 years in the company.
The creative director – who has also worked on Watch Dogs 2, Far Cry 3 and Rainbow Six Vegas – announced his departure earlier this week, confirming that he is moving forward to form his own “independent creative consulting firm”.
“R6 Vegas, AC, FC3, CoL, WD2 … it’s been a privilege to work with everyone at Ubi on these amazing games!” Plourde tweeted.
“Now I’m happy to share that I’re starting my own independent creative consulting firm where I want to continue working with Ubisoft and also spend time on some personal projects.”
In a brief statement to Axios (thank you, VGC), he added that being “outside a traditional structure” means he can now “immerse himself in other fields outside of play […] without having to ask my employer for permission ”.
R6 Vegas, AC, FC3, CoL, WD2 … it’s been a privilege to work with everyone at Ubi on these amazing games!
Now I am happy to tell you that I am starting my own independent creative consulting firm where I will continue to work with Ubisoft and also spend time on some personal projects.
– Patrick Plourde (@patrick_plourde) April 13, 2022
Ubisoft also confirmed the departure to Axios, adding: “We can confirm that Patrick is leaving Ubisoft, but will provide advice to some of our creative directors, at their request, and to the editorial staff on certain projects.”
It is the latest departure in what many call “the great emigration” after a wave of layoffs from the company over the past 18 months at all levels of the company. A number of reasons have been mentioned for departures, including low wages, competitive opportunities elsewhere, frustration over the company’s creative direction and unrest over its handling of dishonesty in the workplace.
As Ed reported at the time, Canadian studies appear to have been particularly hard hit by departures, with at least 60 workers leaving in the six months leading up to December 2021.
Ubisoft has been hit by criticism following its handling of allegations of fraudulent conduct in the workplace, where Ubisoft’s CEO Anika Grant recently admitted that the company had abused complaints, causing a lack of trust.
Developers at the company are reportedly also disappointed with its inclusion of NFTs. The French trade union Solidaires Informatique, which represents Ubisoft employees in Paris, called the technology “a useless, expensive, ecologically destructive technology”.