The managing director of Ubisoft subsidiary Massive Entertainment, David Polfeldt, is leaving the company.
Although we knew Polfeldt was planning to step down from his senior post to “pursue other challenges” at Ubisoft, originally he had planned to take “a long break” before “embark[ing] on a new adventure in Ubisoft” after a six-month sabbatical. Now it seems he’s leaving the developer/publisher altogether, having reportedly submitted his six-month notice at the beginning of the year.
Polfeldt had been leading the Sweden-based team responsible for the upcoming Avatar game as well as leading on titles like The Division and Ubisoft’s new Star Wars game. He’d worked at Massive for 17 years, and served as managing director for 12 of those.
“I think my philosophy and my skills work well for a certain kind of group of a certain kind of size,” he told Nathan Brown in the Hit Points newsletter (thanks, VGC). “I don’t think I’m the right manager for what the studio has become. I’m perfectly at peace with it.”
The resignation comes just weeks after a “great exodus” of Ubisoft staff at all levels of the business was first reported. 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 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”.