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(Solved): Ubisoft Entertainment SA Ubisoft Is A Worldwide Network Of Studios That Create, Publish, And Distrib...

Ubisoft Entertainment SA

Ubisoft is a worldwide network of studios that create, publish, and distribute entertainment and services with world-renowned brands like Just Dance and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell video game series. The company’s sales in 2014 were in excess of $1.5 billion, thanks to gaming experiences available on all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets, and PCs.98 It took 10 teams in 6 countries over 13 international time zones to create Assassin’s Creed: Unity—in which a ­fictional French assassin stalks his prey in 1789 Paris. This huge four-year undertaking presented major practical and logistical challenges along with difficult creative and technical hurdles. Ubisoft’s innovative approach to international collaboration and employee engagement helped it overcome these ­challenges.99

The Montreal studio led the project, providing coordination for nine other units stationed in Toronto, France, Ukraine, Romania, China, and Singapore. In the creative environment of making video games, things like production, project management, and various other managerial tasks are usually at odds with the creative process. What Ubisoft did was free up creators to focus on the game’s vision and reassigned all the other management functions. Its goal was to engage and empower employees to be innovative and creative at all levels of the company. Creative directors at Ubisoft do not have staff reporting to them so that they can focus 100 percent on the content. Managers typically have seven to ten people reporting to them, which gives teams more ownership and less dependency on other studios.100 Staff in the same roles at different studios are encouraged to collaborate with each other. This allows ideas and best practices to be shared between studios without management intervention.101

The Toronto office is an example of employee engagement and work–life balance on steroids. Their open-concept office features a Ubigallery showcasing the works of Ontario art graduates, whiteboards in every room to stimulate the creative process, subsidized hot lunches, and a Friday evening scotch tasting club. It adds more than 100 people a year, but still focuses on fostering a strong team culture. To that end, every new employee gets a Nerf gun on his or her first day, and the staff have Nerf battles to break the ice.102

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the risks of separating the creative side from the production side?

  2. What are the challenges of running a decentralized organization in multiple countries?

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Expert Answer

1. The risks of separating the creative side from the production side are that there is a lack of communication between the creative side and production side, hence the production side does not know o
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