Ubisoft has several high-profile releases arriving in time for this holiday season, but in an earnings call with investors on July 22, the company confirmed that none of those games will come with a $70 price tag.
The announcement came during a call where Ubisoft was also pressed by investors over its response to a spate of misconduct allegations that forced a number of top executives to leave the company.
“We are really concentrating on Christmas,” said Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft co-founder and chief executive officer, when asked whether the company would raise prices in the first quarter of 2021.
The gaming company 2K studios recently announced that NBA 2K21 will carry the higher price tag, which caused many in the industry to question if this will be the new norm.
Ubisoft has a few high-profile upcoming releases, including new entries in the Far Cry, Watchdogs, and Assassin’s Creed franchises.
One investor asked Guillemot specifically about the allegations, which saw the exodus of Serge Hascoët, chief creative officer; Cécile Cornet, global head of human resources; and Yannis Mallat, managing director of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios. How could Guillemot not have known, and if he did, how could he justify that?
Guillemot said that whenever he’s been made aware of misconduct, he’s made quick decisions and wanted them to have a clear and positive effect. He said that certain employees betrayed the trust he put in them and acted against core company values.
“I’ve never compromised my core values,” he said, “and I never will.”
The company outlined in a press release a few changes it’s made since the allegations. Ubisoft hired an independent organization to investigate, it’s reviewing the organization of its editorial department, and it’s looking at HR processes, among other things.
“I am determined to make profound changes in order to improve and strengthen our corporate culture. We already have acted swiftly and firmly, announcing and introducing large-scale initiatives intended to transform our organization. Our overriding aim is ensuring that all Ubisoft employees have a safe and inclusive workplace environment,” Guillemot said in the press release.
One investor asked about a productivity disruption following the departure of employees like Hascoët, who had a hand in some of the company’s marquee titles.
Guillemot said the company has a huge well of creative talent in its 18,000 or so employees, and that he’s increased the number of producers working on different teams. He added that there’s a deep well of institutional knowledge in the company, as well as high levels of collaboration.
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