Ubisoft headcount declined by 1,700 on the path to its highest net bookings ever

Ubisoft’s full-year financial results for the fiscal year 2023-2024 have landed (alongside a trailer unveiling Assassin’s Creed Shadows, set in Feudal Japan, due out this fall), and they’re filled with good news for the company.

Thanks to the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Assassin’s Creed series, the company saw a 33.5 percent increase in net bookings, pulling down €2.3 billion (about $2.5 billion) for the full year.

Its full-year IFRS operating income was €313 million.

That titanic number is a new record for Ubisoft. The company also reported a slight increase in “unique active users” from last year across console and PC. That number rose four percent to a total of 138 million unique active users.

That success is rather impressive given that Ubisoft’s release slate for the last year has been a little thinner than usual. In late 2023, the company released Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. The long-delayed Skull & Bones finally launched in February 2024.

By comparison, in 2024 it will launch XDefiant, Star Wars Outlaws, and Assassin’s Creed Shadows, which could greatly contribute to its 2024-2025 targets of “solid net bookings growth,” and a “slight increase in non-IFRS operating income.” Said games fit neatly into Ubisoft’s plans to strategically focus on open world adventure and games-as-a-service (GaaS) titles.

But there’s a frustrating catch to Ubisoft’s success: the path to hitting those numbers was paved in part by laying off workers and tightening hiring, leading to a decline in total headcount of 1,700 workers.

Ubisoft reduced €150 million in costs in 2024

Ubisoft stated in its report that through “tight control on recruitments, organizational simplification, as well as targeted restructurings,” it managed to reduce overall headcount at the company by 1,700 workers. That effort helped it achieve €150 million in annual cost reductions. It’s targeting €200 million in cost reductions by 2026.

In a bitter twist, Ubisoft couched its layoff stats by stating that employee retention “continued to improve” over the same period it was laying people off.

That retention may be driven by improved morale and affinity for the company. It may also be driven by workers holding on to jobs for dear life as Ubisoft and its competitors lay off thousands of workers.

Correction: A prior version of this story stated that Ubisoft laid off 1,700 workers since 2022. This was inaccurate, as the company in fact reported a decrease in total headcount by 1,700 since 2022. This piece has been updated accordingly.


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