Child of Light director Patrick Plourde is the latest senior developer to announce they are leaving Ubisoft after almost 20 years at the company.
The creative director - who has also worked on Watch Dogs 2, Far Cry 3, and Rainbow Six Vegas - announced his departure earlier this week, and confirmed he's moving on to form his own "independent creative consultancy".
"R6 Vegas, AC, FC3, CoL, WD2... it’s been a privilege to collaborate with everyone at Ubi on these great games!" Plourde tweeted.
"Now, I’m happy to share that I’m starting my own independent creative consultancy, where I will keep working with Ubisoft and also spend time on some personal projects."
In a brief statement to Axios (thanks, VGC), he added that being "outside of a traditional structure" means he can now "dabble with other fields outside gaming [...] without having to ask my employer's permission".
R6 Vegas, AC, FC3, CoL, WD2... it’s been a privilege to collaborate with everyone at Ubi on these great games!— Patrick Plourde (@patrick_plourde) April 13, 2022
Now, I’m happy to share that I’m starting my own independent creative consultancy, where I will keep working with Ubisoft and also spend time on some personal projects.
Ubisoft confirmed the departure to Axios, too, adding: "We can confirm that Patrick is leaving Ubisoft but will provide consulting to some of our creative directors, at their request, and to the Editorial team on certain projects."
It's the latest departure in what many are calling "the great exodus" following a wave of resignations from the company over the past 18 months at all levels of the business. A range of reasons have been cited for departures, including low pay, competitive opportunities elsewhere, frustration at the company's creative direction, and unease at its handling of workplace misconduct.
As Ed reported at the time, the Canadian studios seem to have been particularly hard hit by departures, with at least 60 workers leaving in the six months leading to December 2021.
Ubisoft has been hit with criticism following its handling of workplace misconduct allegations, with Ubisoft chief people officer Anika Grant recently admitting the company mishandled complaints, causing a lack of trust.
Developers at the company are also reportedly disappointed with its inclusion of NFTs. French trade union Solidaires Informatique, which represents Ubisoft employees in Paris, called the technology "a useless, costly, ecologically mortifying tech".