An Unusual Move, We’ll See If It Pays Off
The studio isn’t new to the realms of worker controversy, and in an effort to keep people happy, they decided to increase pay across the board, for all employees at Ubisoft’s main Montreal location. While a desire for a better workplace may have inspired this move, it might not be the whole story. Kotaku picked up some information about the exact nature of this raise, and some things aren’t lining up.
For starters, the sources claim that the raises aren’t evenly distributed. Those higher-up within the company will see the biggest bonuses, and those below will see much less additional income. Kotaku’s investigation dug up some specifics: “Junior staff will receive a 5-7% increase, while the most senior staff could see their pay increased by up to 20%. That would mean a lower-level developer might see a $50,000 a year salary increased by $2,500, while higher-level developer making $100,000 could see as much as $20,000 in additional pay.”
While the pay bump is appreciated by all, this inequality has raised some eyebrows. A few workers are criticizing the move, saying that it may only strengthen inequalities within the company. Given that imbalanced power dynamics are a major factor in workplace harassment (for example: it’s harder to report sexual harassment when the person you’re accusing is far more powerful than you), this system for raised pay has left some at a bottom a bit more nervous than expected.
And there’s another factor at play here, too: Montreal is home to a growing game development scene, with a few other major studios having offices nearby. Ubisoft has lost a few workers after some controversies came to light, and it’s not hard to connect the dots here. Kotaku quoted one developer, who claimed: “They’re desperately trying to hold on to what few experienced devs are still here.”
What do you think? Why is the payment structure scaled this way? What might the consequences be? We’d love to hear your answers in the comments!