Ubisoft is reportedly providing its Ukrainian staff with alternate housing, additional funds to aid travel and relocation, and early salary payments following Russia’s illegal invasion.
The publisher/developer – which says the safety and wellbeing of its teams and their families are its “primary concern” – has two studios in Ukraine; one in capital Kyiv, the other in Odessa. Whilst earlier this week the company told Eurogamer it did not have “more details to share at this time”, information is now emerging of a raft of measures it has enacted to help aid its employees.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) February 25, 2022
“Across Ubisoft, our hearts are with our teams in Ukraine, and we are providing them support and assistance as they navigate this difficult time,” Ubisoft told The Loadout. “The safety and wellbeing of our teams and their families is our primary concern, and Ubisoft is fully mobilised to support them moving forward.
“Over the past few months, Ubisoft has been closely monitoring the situation and has put in place measures to help protect our teams. Last week, we recommended our employees take shelter in a place they consider safe. Ubisoft has provided all team members in Ukraine with additional funds to help them cover exceptional costs, such as those related to their travel and relocation, and has paid salaries in advance to account for any potential disruption to banking systems.
“Ubisoft is providing housing in neighbouring countries where teams and their families can take shelter if they wish and are able to do so. To ensure we stay closely connected with all teams, we have set up hotlines to respond to their questions and needs and have put in place an emergency communication system should infrastructures grow unstable. We will continue to adapt and reinforce our assistance as the situation evolves.”
Video game developers based in Ukraine have spoken out, amidst the ongoing invasion of their country by Russia. Ukraine is home to Stalker developer GSC Game World, The Sinking City and Sherlock Holmes studio Frogwares and Suvarium maker Vostok Games, among others.
Ubisoft also recently called off its plans to hold a major Rainbow Six Siege tournament in the United Arab Emirates, following a backlash by fans. The event, announced on Sunday, was to be held in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE – a country often criticised for its human rights record.
As Tom reported at the time, after the publication of a fan petition said Ubisoft’s decision to hold a Rainbow Six tournament in the UAE was “short-sighted, dangerous and backwards to the developing ideology of esports”, Ubisoft backtracked on the decision in a statement issued via its Rainbow Six esports Twitter, albeit whilst also defending its initial plan.